EESS Winter Seminar Series, Dr. Kabir G. Peay, Department of Biology, Stanford
EESS Winter Seminar Series, Dr. Kabir Peay, Department of Biology, Stanford, "Ecology from the ground up: A roots-to-biomes look at mycorrhizal community structure and function", Abstract: Microbes are a critical component of the diversity and function of ecosystems. In terrestrial systems they regulate decomposition rates, facilitate plant nutrient uptake and have a profound impact on agriculture and economics. Despite this, our understanding of the fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes that regulate microbial community structure and their interactions with other ecosystem processes is still rudimentary. My research primarily aims to elucidate the community dynamics of a key guild of obligate symbiotic soil microorganisms, mycorrhizal fungi, which are responsible for a large fraction plant nutrient uptake. I work across a range of spatial scales to identify the hierarchy of ecological processes that regulate community structure of these organisms and how these communities in turn affect the assembly of plant communities and rates of ecosystem processes. In doing so I aim to build a ‘roots-to-biomes’ understanding of soil biodiversity.