Carnegie Institution - Global Ecology Seminar
Professor, Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
Northern Arizona University
"The Microbial Ecology of Soil Carbon"
The identities of organisms profoundly influence ecosystems, and microbial diversity is vast. Yet, the hackneyed “black box” of microbial ecology persists: we ecosystem scientists ignore and collapse microbial diversity into a box and a few arrows. We do this because this has been and still is a useful approach on scales relevant for ecosystems. Insights from molecular tools into the microbial world do not yet connect strongly to quantitative biogeochemistry. Yet, there is good reason to try to make this connection, and there are promising new approaches for doing so. Here, I will frame this problem in the context of the quantitative microbial ecology of soil carbon.