Functional roles of soil microbial diversity in logged ecosystems
Professor James Harris
Cranfield University - IWE
Host Country Institutions:
Although there has been much work on aboveground biodiversity in tropical rainforests, such as macro-invertebrates (e.g. Jones and Eggleton), little attention has been paid to the belowground component of these systems, particularly with respect to the soil microbial community. This is a significant gap in our knowledge, as the soil microbial community plays key functional roles in terms of decomposition and soil structural stabilisation. This is of particular importance in sloping areas, and is likely to be critical when tree cover is removed.