About this Research Topic
This research topic focuses on the interplay between the soil microbiome and other trophic levels and the consequences of multi-trophic interactions for soil health, carbon transformation and nutrient biogeochemistry. Following photosynthetic fixation by primary producers such as plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, carbon transitions through a complex foodweb comprised of microbes (bacteria, archaea, fungi and protists) and fauna of different size classes (e.g. rotifers, nematodes, microarthropods, earthworms, and vertebrates). In the rhizosphere, carbon in the form of root detritus or exudates directly fuels the growth of microbes and some faunal guilds (the consumers: including decomposers, root-feeders, parasites, pathogens, mutualists). These in turn represent resources for higher-trophic levels (the secondary consumers and predators: e.g. nematodes, protists, microarthropods, and vertebrates). Food web structure and trophic interactions have been shown to be important regulators of C flux in soils, impacting the stabilization of soil organic matter, and also its turnover, yielding nutrients that sustains life in terrestrial ecosystems.
We welcome submissions of research articles that consider individual components of soil foodwebs or foodweb structure and composition and their ecological interactions, in relation to the flux of carbon, nutrients and other elements. Research describing new analytical or modeling approaches to decipher foodweb interactions, resource distribution, elemental transformation and trophic feedbacks between microorganisms and other soil biota.
We welcome submission of research articles that study the composition of soil foodwebs, their relation with microbiome composition, activity, and the trophic interconnections that channel C, N and other nutrients through soil. In particular we encourage the submission of articles that highlight research on organisms that have historically been underrepresented in soil ecology studies, such as viruses, protists, and nematodes, where the application of new technologies promises to illuminate their composition, dynamics and functional roles. Research to be submitted can include work performed under laboratory, greenhouse, and field settings. Studies describing new analytical or modeling approaches to decipher foodweb interactions, resource distribution, elemental transformation, and trophic feedbacks between microorganisms and other soil biota are highly encouraged. The integration of these technologies (e.g. isotope tracing methodologies, nucleic acid sequencing, and other ‘omic approaches) to address questions of resource dynamics is of significant interest.
Keywords: Soil, Foodwebs, Microorganisms, Metazoans, Phage, Biogeochemistry
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.