Aboveground-belowground linkages: Biotic interactions, ecosystem processes, and global change



[1] The discovery of unexpected connections among organisms that seemingly have nothing to do with one another is one of the most exciting aspects of ecological science. Aboveground-Belowground Linkages: Biotic Interactions, Ecosystem Processes, and Global Change, by Richard Bardgett and David Wardle, reminds readers that interactions among soil microbes, plants, herbivores, predators, and the physical environment represent some of the most fascinating of these discoveries and that much remains to be revealed. Indeed, given the known influences of soils on plant productivity and the global carbon and nitrogen cycles, understanding the mechanisms that link aboveground and belowground processes is critical for accurate assessments of how climate change may affect ecosystem goods and services that support humans. Bardgett and Wardle make the need for further work in this area abundantly clear as they synthesize the current state of knowledge on aboveground and belowground interactions using diverse and interesting examples drawn from an extensive review of the literature.