Session: Connecting Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives to Find What Matters in Microbial Responses to Change
Finding what matters in microbial response to environmental change
Monday, August 2, 2021
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Moira Hough, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Elsa Abs, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA and Adriana Romero-Olivares, Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
What matters to humans is how ecosystem processes change in response to environmental perturbation (such as climate change or land-use change). But predicting this and mitigating negative outcomes requires that we also understand what matters to key drivers of soil processes: microbes. That is, what keeps them alive and allows them to grow and reproduce, i.e. the factors that drive evolution. Because microbial evolutionary processes operate on a similar time-scale to current environmental change, achieving a mechanistic understanding detailed enough to manage ecological outcomes requires the integration of these multi-scale perspectives: the microbial, the human, the evolutionary and the ecological.