NRESS Environmental Sciences Seminar Series

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
James Hall, G46
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Lynne Cooper
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NRESS PhD Program Fall 2018 Environmental Sciences Seminar Series presents
"This Microbial Life: New Perceptions of our Microbial World", a mini-series within the seminar series. We welcome the second of four speakers in this mini-series:

Dr. Christopher Fernandez, Postdoctoral Associate, Univiversity of Minnesota

Do Mycorrhizal Fungi Increase or Decrease Carbon Stored in Forest Soils?

majority of land plants form symbiotic associations with
mycorrhizal fungi, who play an essential role in plant nutrition and productivity. In forest ecosystems, trees allocate considerable amounts of carbon to ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi in exchange for access to growth limiting nutrients found in the soil.  Because of the dominance of EM fungi in many forest soils, the activity of these symbiotic fungi has long been hypothesized to disproportionately influence carbon and nutrient cycling in these soils. However, our understanding of the functional diversity of these fungi and the magnitude and direction of their influence on these processes is relatively poor. Additionally, mounting evidence suggests that EM fungal communities and their functional roles are highly responsive to global change. Because these fungi act as key mediators in both forest carbon and nutrient cycles, understanding the consequences of these changes has become a critical area of research in order to better predict effects on forest biogeochemical cycles. I will present findings from multiple projects that are focused on the traits of EM fungi, their role in community structure, potential effects oncarbon sequestration in forest soils in the context of global climate change.

Christopher Fernandez
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