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Yaniria Sanchez-de-Leon,
Research Associate,
PhD University of Idaho

Responses 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.

Contact Information:

University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor Street M/C 066
Chicago, IL 60607
p. 312.996.5929
f. 312.413.2435

e-mail: ysl@uic.edu

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