SYMP 20 - From Microbes to Moles: Diversity in Soils Support Resilience in Ecosystem Services

Thursday, August 10, 2017: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Portland Blrm 252, Oregon Convention Center
Elizabeth M. Bach, Colorado State University
Diana H. Wall, Colorado State University
Diana H. Wall, Colorado State University
Soils house a large amount of terrestrial biodiversity, but soil ecology largely under-represented in general ecological synthesis and theory. Perhaps because of the astounding diversity within soils, much research focuses on taxonomic specialties (e.g. microbes, nematodes, earthworms). However, all these organisms interact with each other to drive ecosystem functioning, including energy (carbon) and nutrient cycling, and services such as food and fiber production. As such, soil biodiversity supports terrestrial ecosystems and their response to global change. Soil ecology can provide critical insights into ecosystem resilience and fragility in a changing world. Recent years have brought an accumulation of new observations and deeper insights into the interactions among soil organisms and their environment that deliver ecosystem services. This symposium is an effort to synthesize a rich body of soil ecology work across taxa, from microbes to moles. To provide focus and maximize integration of knowledge across taxonomic boundaries, the symposium will focus on a single ecosystem type: grasslands. Grasslands have been a model system for studying soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning for decades. Speakers will share work from grasslands around the world to provide a global synthesis of the role of soil biodiversity in ecosystem services and functioning. The symposium will begin with an overview of soil ecology in grasslands generally. Speakers will share expertise in soil taxonomic groups, focusing on recent insights into how these organisms impact soil ecosystem functions and services in grasslands around the world. The final talk will integrate the previous talks, synthesizing a full picture of trophic interactions making up grassland soil food webs and ecosystem functioning. The symposium will provide a unique integration of ecological science across taxonomic boundaries, unified by the soil habitat in grassland ecosystems. It will provide an opportunity to reinforce and challenge ecological paradigms built on observations aboveground. Synthesizing interactions and patterns across global grasslands will lead to hypotheses that can be explored in other ecosystems and provide new insights into ecosystem response to global change.
2:00 PM
 Fine root traits as drivers of soil carbon dynamics
Marie-Anne de Graaff, Boise State University; Catherine E. Stewart, University of Colorado, Boulder
2:30 PM
 The relative role of soil microbes in driving ecosystem functions
Kate H. Orwin, Landcare Research; Ian A. Dickie, Lincoln University; Suzanne Lambie, Landcare Research; Robbie Holdaway, Landcare Research; Norman W. H. Mason, Landcare Research; Paul Mudge, Landcare Research; Jamie Wood, Landcare Research
3:00 PM
3:10 PM
 Mesofauna diversity, ecosystem function and resilience in a changing world
Charlene Janion-Scheepers, Iziko South African Museum; Elizabeth A Hugo-Coetzee, National Museum
3:40 PM
4:10 PM
 Essential partners: Soil biodiversity and functioning in grasslands
Elizabeth M. Bach, Colorado State University; Diana H. Wall, Colorado State University
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