UK PlantSci 2013 & the Journal of Experimental Botany

Richard Bargett
University of Manchester

Running time: 00:26:38 min

Plant-microbial-soil interactions in a changing world


There is growing awareness that understanding the consequences of global change for ecosystem functioning requires consideration of linkages between plant and belowground microbial communities. This is because the impact of human-induced global changes on the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems is often indirect: they operate via changes aboveground that cascade belowground to the hugely complex soil biological community, which drives biogeochemical processes and feedbacks to the Earth’s climate system. Here I will discuss some past and recent research that illustrates how a combined aboveground–belowground approach can improve understanding of the way that ecosystems function and how they respond to global change. In particular, I will illustrate how recent research has advanced our understanding of the role that plant–microbial–soil interactions, and specifically root carbon transfer to soil, plays in governing nutrient and carbon cycling, and plant responses to global change.


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