Soil protistology rebooted: 30 fundamental questions to start with

Geisen, Stefan; Mitchell, Edward A.D.; Wilkinson, David M.; Adl, Sina; Bonkowski, Michael; Brown, Matthew W.; Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Heger, Thierry J.; Jassey, Vincent E.J.; Krashevska, Valentyna; Lahr, Daniel J.G.; Marcisz, Katarzyna; Mulot, Matthieu; Payne, Richard; Singer, David; Anderson, O. Roger; Charman, Dan J.; Ekelund, Flemming; Griffiths, Bryan S.; Rønn, Regin; ... (2017). Soil protistology rebooted: 30 fundamental questions to start with. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 111, pp. 94-103. Elsevier 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.04.001

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Protists are the most diverse eukaryotes. These microbes are keystone organisms of soil ecosystems and regulate essential processes of soil fertility such as nutrient cycling and plant growth. Despite this, protists have received little scientific attention, especially compared to bacteria, fungi and nematodes in soil studies. Recent methodological advances, particularly in molecular biology techniques, have made the study of soil protists more accessible, and have created a resurgence of interest in soil protistology. This ongoing revolution now enables comprehensive investigations of the structure and functioning of soil protist communities, paving the way to a new era in soil biology. Instead of providing an exhaustive review, we provide a synthesis of research gaps that should be prioritized in future studies of soil protistology to guide this rapidly developing research area. Based on a synthesis of expert opinion we propose 30 key questions covering a broad range of topics including evolution, phylogenetics, functional ecology, macroecology, paleoecology, and methodologies. These questions highlight a diversity of topics that will establish soil protistology as a hub discipline connecting different fundamental and applied fields such as ecology, biogeography, evolution, plant-microbe interactions, agronomy, and conservation biology. We are convinced that soil protistology has the potential to be one of the most exciting frontiers in biology.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Marcisz, Katarzyna

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0038-0717

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2017 14:41

Last Modified:

06 Jul 2017 14:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.04.001

Uncontrolled Keywords:

soil protists; protozoa; microbial interactions; food web; biodiversity; functional diversity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.99433

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/99433

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