Towards process-based ecological restoration: the critical role of plant-soil interactions in community assembly and coexistence

IMG_3290.jpg

Rachel Becknell, Scott Mangan

Plants and their symbiotic soil microbes interact with one another in important ways that influence ecosystem function. Rachel Becknell, PhD student in the Mangan Lab, is investigating how these interactions lead to either plant species coexistence or ecological communities with few dominant species. At Tyson, Rachel is conducting an experiment to investigate interactions between prairie species and their species-specific soil microbes. The long-term goal of her research is to improve the sustainability and efficacy of ecological restorations.