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​Making Ecology Rhizo-Centric: Exploring The Importance Of Fine-Roots As Drivers Of Ecological Processes

Published on: 28-May-2019

Event Type: Seminar
Event Date: 28 May 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Oscar J Valverde-Barrantes (Florida International University)

About the speaker:

I am a botanist and microbiologist deeply interested in the study of the belowground interactions between plants and their associated microbial communities. My field of research includes the study of the co-evolution between mycorrhizal fungus and seed plants, the mechanisms driving the variation in functional root traits and the impacts of different root strategies on ecological processes like soil carbon dynamics and species coexistence. My ultimate goal is to incorporate the belowground component as a central topic of discussion, consolidating root ecology as a standalone ecology field.

About the event:

Roots are a central component for the soil biota and the main mediators in the interactions between below and aboveground compartments in terrestrial ecosystems. Nonetheless, our knowledge of the variation in root systems, their functional trade-offs, and their impact in ecological processes is still very limited. In this talk, I will address some of the main conceptual ideas in the emergent field of root ecology, the importance of root interactions maintaining plant community diversity, the impacts of root traits on ecological processes and the future role of root systems in a changing world, particularly in tropical ecosystems.

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