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Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2020)

Soil carbon cycle responses to global change and its prediction by modelling links between key biotic and abiotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems

Flores Rodriguez, Omar

Titre : Soil carbon cycle responses to global change and its prediction by modelling links between key biotic and abiotic processes in terrestrial ecosystems

Respuestas del ciclo del carbono del suelo al cambio global y su predicción mediante la modelización de vínculos entre procesos bióticos y abióticos clave en los ecosistemas terrestres

Auteur : Flores Rodriguez, Omar

Université de soutenance : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Grade : Doctoral Tesis 2020

Résumé partiel
Global change, the set of environmental changes (e.g. climate change or land use change) resulting from human activity and its impacts on Earth system functioning, is a challenge for the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that we get from nature and, therefore, for the sustainability of our society. In order to anticipate potential consequences of global change we need to improve our understanding on the functioning and potential vulnerability of the natural systems, as well as our capacity to predict how future responses of those systems to global change may impact key ecosystem-provided services as carbon (C) sequestration. However, and given the inherent complexity in the functioning, interactions and levels of organization of natural communities, predicting how ecosystems will respond in the face of such changes is a great challenge. In order to deal with such complexity, we use mechanistic models for the integrative simulation of multiple processes and feedbacks between those processes, allowing to predict how natural systems will respond to environmental disturbances. Particularly, soil system is probably the less known biosphere compartment and the one whose responses to global change are more uncertain, despite being the most biodiverse system on the planet and the most important C sink in terrestrial ecosystems, only overcome globally by the oceans. There exists, however, a critical mass of knowledge on different key aspects of the soil system, e.g. on the functioning and role of soil food webs on C and nutrient cycling. There is also a growing evidence on the role of functional groups of key organisms in soil functioning and C cycling, as e.g. the ecosystem engineer species that alter the soil physical structure, the detritivores that fragment organic matter and enhance its oxidation by decomposer communities, decomposers that mineralize resources, or the bacterivores and fungivores that controll decomposers population. All this information on organization and function of the soil natural communities contributes to the understanding of the role of those hyper-diverse communities on the soil functioning and the C sequestration capacity of the soil system. However, current state-of-the-art biogeochemical models are mostly based on empirical approaches that do not take into account the huge ecological complexity of the soil system, or important aspects such as its functional diversity, related for instance to its physical structure and hydrology

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Page publiée le 25 février 2021