As mentioned in a previous blog post, ‘Belowground Ecology’ was an important topic of the EcoSummit2016 congress that was held two weeks ago in Montpellier, France (Corum, Aug 28th – Sept 1st). During the conference, I had the chance to meet with many leading soil scientists and invited three of them to talk about soil – Richard Bardgett, Marcel Van der Heijden and Gerlinde De Deyn.
I had very interesting discussions about soil and soil biodiversity with the soil experts Richard and Marcel, that I am happy to share with you below. With Gerlinde, we further discussed the role of plant-soil feedbacks in agricultural systems and how it can provide solutions for a more sustainable food production. Stay tuned for Gerlinde’s interview that will be posted on the Blog soon.
Blog Editor, Journal of Ecology
Richard Bardgett is Professor of Ecology at The University of Manchester (UK) and Senior Editor of Journal of Ecology. His research is concerned with understanding the role of interactions between plant and soil communities in regulating the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems, and their response to global change. Richard recently wrote a book entitled ‘Earth Matters – How soil underlies civilization‘.
Marcel Van Der Heijden is at the Head of the Plant-Soil Interactions Research Group at Agroscope in Zurich (Switzerland), Professor at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Zurich (Switzerland), and Associate Editor of Journal of Ecology. His research focuses on the role of soil biodiversity as a determinant of plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Special attention is given to microbial diversity, symbiotic associations between plants and microbes, plant-soil interactions, ecosystem sustainability and the development of ecological farming systems.