IGN 8-8 - Microbial scaling laws predict ecosystem services

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
C124, Oregon Convention Center
Kenneth J. Locey and Jay T. Lennon, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
As the most abundant and diverse organisms on Earth, microorganisms drive the processes that cycle nutrients and regulate ecosystems. While microbial metabolism is commonly harnessed to remove pollutants, treat wastewater, and manufacture products, the upper limits of our ability to manage microbial metabolism are greatly limited. However, it should be possible to predict rates of microbe-mediated ecosystem services using empirical scaling laws. Using a compilation of ecological and environmental data, we show how rates of ecosystem services should scale across magnitudes of microbial abundance.