95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

OOS 41 - Plant Genotypic and Microbial Controls Over Ecosystem Processes: The Role of Diversity in Modulating Response to Global Change

Thursday, August 5, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
310-311, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Steven Travis
Gregory Zogg
Gregory Zogg
The goal of the proposed session is to review current thinking and explore future research directions regarding the effects of plant genotypic and microbial diversity on ecosystem processes, and how these relationships might determine ecosystem response to global change. We are particularly interested in exploring the potential for interactions between these two trophic levels – e.g., how plant genotypic diversity indirectly influences ecosystem processes via its impact on microbial community composition, and vice-versa. Ecologists have a longstanding interest in the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem processes. For example, the influence of species richness and/or functional group diversity on productivity in plant communities has been explored extensively, and has been the source of considerable debate among ecologists. More recently, it has become clear that intraspecific richness can act as a functional surrogate for interspecific richness in species-depauperate systems where a single foundation species forms the dominant structural component of the community. Thus, the genotypic diversity of producers (e.g., cottonwoods) has been shown to increase ecosystem productivity. Although the fundamental importance of microorganisms to ecosystem processes such as decomposition has long been recognized, efforts to link function to specific members of the microbial community have historically been very difficult. Recently, advances in molecular techniques have revolutionized microbial ecology by enabling investigators to characterize variation in community composition more or less in situ, as well as to explore its link to biogeochemical functions. As a result, numerous recent studies have demonstrated a correlation between microbial community composition and ecosystem process rates like decomposition, and there is growing evidence in support of a link between environmental change and microbial structure-function relationships. Given the intimate relationship between producers and decomposers, the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem processes is likely regulated to a large degree by complex interactions between these trophic levels. For example, microbially-mediated decomposition is dependent upon organic matter inputs from plants, and thus it no surprise that plant community composition can influence both microbial structure and function. Recently, investigators have demonstrated that within-species variation can have a similar effect. It is also likely that microbial community composition influences plant productivity - based upon both model predictions and empirical evidence that microbes have important direct (via mutualistic or pathogenic symbioses) and indirect (via competitive or facilitative interactions) affects on plants, but there have been few experimental tests of this relationship.
8:00 AM
Consequences of genotype identity on ecological processes and response to disturbance in a marine foundation species
Fiona Tomas, Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA/CSIC); Jessica M. Abbott, University California, Davis; Clare Steinberg, University California, Davis; Meghan Balk, University of New Mexico; Susan L. Williams, UC Davis; John J. Stachowicz, University of California, Davis
8:20 AM
Belowground microbial community structure influences plant evolution
Jennifer A. Lau, Michigan State University; Jay T. Lennon, Indiana University
8:40 AM
Genetic or genotypic diversity and population stability: Conflicting evidence from experimental data versus field surveys
Sophie Arnaud-Haond, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER
9:00 AM
The relationship between microbial composition and ecosystem processes in a New England tidal marsh
Heather Reed, University of Massachusetts; Jennifer B.H. Martiny, University of California, Irvine
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
A community genetics approach for understanding microbial community structure and feedbacks on foundation tree species
Thomas G. Whitham, Northern Arizona University; Louis J. Lamit, Northern Arizona University; David Solance Smith, Northern Arizona University; Arthur R. Keith, Northern Arizona University; Posy E. Busby, University of Washington; Matthew K. Lau, Northern Arizona University
10:10 AM
Complementarity and dominance contribute to genotypic diversity effects on marine plant biomass
A. Randall Hughes, Florida State University; John J. Stachowicz, University of California, Davis; Rebecca J. Best, University of California, Davis
10:30 AM
10:50 AM
Linking composition to function in soil microbial communities - current thinking and future directions
Christopher Blackwood, Kent State University; Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
11:10 AM
Temporal patterns of microbial response to fire and multiple global change factors
Jessica LM Gutknecht, Helmoltz- Centre for Environmental Research- UFZ; Teri C. Balser, University of Florida-Gainesville
See more of: Organized Oral Session