Soil biological composition and function in managed systems

Soil biota play critical roles in decomposition, nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance in both natural and managed ecosystems. Many management practices can alter soil biological communities and the links between management practices, diversity of soil organisms and ecosystem functions are not clear. We are studying soil arthropod and microbial communities in horticultural and agricultural systems to better understand the links between composition and function, to assess how different management practices impact soil biota and to improve management practices to optimize soil ecosystem services.