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ESS Seminar Series: Dr. Benton Taylor, "Microbial mediation of forest function in a changing world"

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Event Details:

Earth System Science

Seminar Series

April 18

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Hartley Conference Room, Mitchell Earth Sciences  


Benton Taylor, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

 Organismic & Evolutionary Biology

Harvard University 

“Microbial mediation of forest function in a changing world”

Terrestrial ecosystems currently serve as a large global carbon sink, mitigating the pace of atmospheric carbon accumulation and climate change. The future magnitude and longevity of this terrestrial carbon sink is highly uncertain, but will likely be determined by plants’ ability to acquire soil resources as they adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, plants rarely forage for soil resources on their own – they engage in partnerships with soil fungi and bacteria to help them acquire the water and nutrients they need. This talk will focus on how different plant-microbial partnerships respond to simulations of rising CO2 and warming temperatures and what those responses suggest about future carbon capture in plant biomass and carbon storage in forest soils.

Dr. Benton Taylor's research focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems respond to various global change drivers such as rising CO2, nutrient pollution, human land use, and extreme weather events, and how these ecosystem responses, in turn, influence the trajectory of global change.