and feedbacks of soil macrofauna of forests and grasslands to environmental change.
My research interests are on biological conservation, soil
ecology and soil biology. The ability to combine
soil data with knowledge of biological systems is useful to identify and promote sustainable
management practices that contribute to natural resource conservation (e.g. biological diversity,
soil and water conservation), while preserving the utility of the landscape to fulfill the social
needs for these resources. The soil biological community has a tremendous impact on ecosystem
processes and function. Soil organisms can affect ecosystem processes in various ways through
their feeding and behavioral activities. For example, soil organisms can affect the movement and
transport of materials through their burrowing and pore forming behavior, aggregate formation,
influence over organic matter decomposition, and other physical and chemical transformations.
Among soil organisms, earthworms are considered one of the most important members of soil
fauna in temperate regions. Earthworms can affect ecosystem processes in different ways. For
example, earthworms can increase plant productivity, increase microbial activity and
decomposition, change soil structure, influence over soil carbon sequestration, influence soil
porosity and water movement in the soil, among other effects.
My current projects are:
1- Effects of elevated CO2 on earthworm communities, and earthworm physiology in temperate forests.
2- Feedbacks of native and invasive soil macrofauna on soil C and N processes through decomposition, aggregate formation, and soil mixing.
I am developing these research projects at the FACE site in Oak Ridge National Laboratory.