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Soil biota – habitat interactions across scales: consequences for biotic communities and soil functionality (co-organized)
Convener: Ellen Kandeler  | Co-Conveners: Naoise Nunan , Rachel Creamer , Martin Potthoff 
 / Tue, 10 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Tue, 10 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Soils perform multiple functions simultaneously, but the delivery of each function varies across soil types, land uses and climatic regions. The multifunctionality of soil emerges from the diversity of soil biota and from the interactions the biota have with their physical environment. The physical environment is characterised by variable geometry, composition and stability across spatial scales spanning several orders of magnitude. This physical environment, or habitat, exists in a highly dynamic state as management practices, biological activity, plant root growth or alterations in the water status can all affect the physicochemical properties. Habitat-biota interactions have significant effects on the composition, ecology and functioning of biological communities, which can have consequences for ecosystem functioning at larger scales. However, the extent and the nature of these interactions are poorly characterised. This session will focus on advancing our understanding of how interactions between the soil biota and their habitat affects the delivery of soil functions that are beneficial for the productivity and sustainability of land use systems and the structuring of biological communities.