Modeling soil community resiliency to climate change


Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 14:00 to 15:00


C209, Center Building


Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Venue: C209, Center Bldg
Dr. Timothy Keitt
Section of Integrative Biology
The University of Texas at Austin
Modeling soil community resiliency to climate change
Soils constitute one of the largest pools of terrestrial carbon,
yet we understand relatively little about the ecology of soil microbial
systems, which limits our ability to forecast climate change feedbacks. While
soils may seem to be stable environment, near the surface temperature and
moisture exhibit considerable variation and this variation is expected to
increase under future climates. A major goal of soil ecosystems studies is to
develop better models of microbial community dynamics and integrate these with
global earth systems models. I present two modeling studies of soil microbial
community dynamics in variable environments. The first addresses a theoretical
question: how does historical environmental variation relate to resiliency of
communities? I show that resilience to rapid environmental change depends
strongly on the magnitude and pattern of historical variation resulting in
legacy effects. A second study introduces soil moisture into dynamic soil
carbon models and investigates how realistic soil moisture variation influences
variation in fast and slow soil carbon pools.
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