Compost

PhD defence

Disentangling microbial decomposition networks. Linking detritus-based soil microbial food webs to ecosystem processes

PhD candidate dr. A (Amber) Heijboer
Promotor prof.dr. PC (Peter) de Ruiter
Co-promotor dr. J (Jaap) Bloem
Co-promotor prof. dr GA Kowalchuk
dr PE Bodelier
Organisation Wageningen University, Biometris
Date

Wed 6 June 2018 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Aula, gebouwnummer 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592

Summary

There is an increasing awareness that soil microbes are important for agriculture and nature. Soils contain a large number of microbial species, but relatively little is known about the specific role of these different species on soil functioning. During my PhD research I looked at the effect of land use change on the microbial community composition and the influence on related soil processes. In particular I studied microbial decomposition of soil organic matter, an important process that influences nutrient availability for plants and soil carbon storage. The results shows that the composition of the microbial community is of great importance for processes as nitrogen retention and the decomposition efficiency of organic matter. This information ensures that we can predict the long-term consequences of land use on soil functioning more precisely, and will help in achieving an optimal and sustainable management of our soils.