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Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme.

SSS4.10

The importance of soil fauna and fungi as greenhouse gas sources and mediators
Convener: Carolyn-Monika Görres  | Co-Conveners: Jorge Curiel Yuste , Sylvia Toet , Lisa Wingate 
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Soils play a vital role in the global carbon, nitrogen and sulphur cycles because of their capability to act both as sources and sinks of major greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbonyl sulphide (COS). Understanding the biological, physical and chemical processes driving GHG production and consumption in soils is essential for accurately quantifying GHG fluxes between soils and the atmosphere, and for predicting changes in source and sink strength under a changing climate and different land management systems. Importantly this can assist in the development of sustainable climate change mitigation strategies. Over the past decades, the main focus in soil GHG flux research has been on the role of plants and free-living soil microorganisms as producers and consumers of CO2, CH4 and N2O. However, soils harbor diverse macrofaunal and fungal communities that also play a key role in carbon, nitrogen and sulphur cycling. For example, earthworms and termites have been shown to be significant N2O and CH4 emitters, respectively, due to specific microorganism groups that reside in their digestive tracts. However, the quantitative importance of soil macrofauna and fungal communities remains largely unknown and is often neglected in soil GHG flux studies. This session specifically invites contributions from studies that have i) analyzed microbial communities in the digestive tracts of soil invertebrates or fungal hyphae, ii) measured directly the variability of GHG fluxes from soil macrofauna and soil fungi, iii) studied the impact of the presence of these organisms in different soils and the consequences for GHG fluxes, C storage and soil fertility (e.g. bioturbation, excrements as food source for microorganisms) or iv) investigated the impact of land management on the function of these organisms and GHG budgets. The goal of this session is to provide a platform for researchers to synthesize the current state of knowledge in this research field and to identify important knowledge gaps and breakthroughs in methodological approaches to link soil fungal and faunal function to variations in atmospheric GHG concentrations. Studies using a range of different approaches (stable isotope probing, meta genomics, metatranscriptomics) to tease apart and investigate the function of soil macrofauna and fungi in gas exchange studies conducted in the field and/or the lab are highly solicited.