Track: Organized Oral Session
Interactions between plants and microbes significantly impact ecosystem function and stability. In wetland ecosystems, the dynamics of these plant-microbe associations can determine not only the response of both plants and microbes to each other, but also the resiliency of ecosystems as a whole in response to environmental pressures. Yet, little is known about the forces that drive the dynamics of these interactions. While plants and microbes have been shown to be key players in wetland ecosystems individually, associations between plants and microbes have largely been overlooked until recent years. Emerging studies indicate that microbial communities (fungi, bacteria, archaea, and viruses) that form specific associations with wetland plants – from endosphere to rhizosphere and phyllosphere – can influence plant fitness, performance, and growth. On the other hand, plants also exert influence on these microbial communities, for example, via exudates, shaping their diversity, composition, and distribution. This, in turn, can feedback into plants and, ultimately influencing ecosystem processes. The dynamics of these interactions can vary among plant species (and whether they are native or non-native), across habitats, and within local environments. Despite what is known about the far-reaching impacts of plant-microbe interactions in upland habitats, we are only beginning to understand how these plant-microbe interactions can impact wetland ecosystem function. This session aims to bring together studies on plant-microbe interactions across differing wetland types and among plant species. These studies represent a wide breadth of perspectives. Topics that are explored here include, but are not limited to: (1) how microbial communities can boost or hinder plant performance under stress, (2) how plant communities exert control over the microbial communities in a feedback process, and (3) how plant-microbe interactions can be harnessed as potential solution for dealing with biological stressors (e.g., non-native/invasive species) or even environmental pressures, such a climate change.
Presenting Author: Candice Y. Lumibao – University of Tennessee
Presenting Author: Jennifer L. Bowen – Northeastern University
Presenting Author: Sunshine A. Van Bael – Tulane University
Presenting Author: Kurt Kowalski – U.S. Geological Survey
Presenting Author: Martina Gonzalez Mateu – Oregon State University