Decoding the secret language of soils: chemical signalling in the rhizosphere
This free online talk for Ecology Live 2021 eaves drops on the remarkable conversations taking place between the myriad organisms which make soil their home. In a series of 25-minutes talks, the British Ecological Society broadcasts free talks from 12 great speakers on Zoom every Thursday from 4 March to 20 May 2021. This fourth edition on March 25 is hosted by Duncan Cameron from the University of Sheffield, UK.
“We owe our entire existence on this planet to a six-inch layer of soil and the fact that it rains.” The soil is the foundation of most terrestrial life on the Earth. Yet soil as a resource, and its staggering complexity, is often ignored, undervalued and under appreciated – none more so than the amazing array of organisms that make soil their home.
The soil is a repository of information as well as an information super-highway where signals are exchanged between soil organisms, including plants, animals and microbes. These usually chemical signals have been hard to detect and to decode but advances in analytical methodologies, both biochemical and statistical, now allow us to eaves drop on these conversations as never before. I provide some examples of how soil organisms communicate with each other and the wider consequences of those conversations for soil ecosystems.
University of Sheffield, UK