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I am a biologist interested in soil and leaf-litter biodiversity, particularly the role of invertebrates in soil ecosystem services and function.
I am studying the relationship between above-ground and below-ground biodiversity in an elevational gradient. Do they mirror each other? I am applying High Throughput Sequencing, qPCR and conventional taxonomy to answer these questions. Agricultural systems provide an excellent opportunity for controlled treatments that manipulate the biotic and abiotic variables to explore the intricate community relationships within the soil. However, there are limitations to the research context that restrict my ability to fully explore the complexity of the relationship between invertebrate community structure and the functions they provide. To better understand this relationship requires a more diverse, natural experiment. The Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), in northwestern Costa Rica, is a biodiversity hotspot - estimated home to at least 2.6 % of global diversity (Smith et al., 2014). The natural (elevation) and anthropogenic (forest degradation/agriculture) gradients within ACG provide an excellent opportunity to understand how soil biodiversity varies over naturally occurring abiotic and biotic gradients.
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Guelph
50 Stone Rd. E. Guelph
Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1
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