Linking Soil Fauna to Ecosystem Functions in this Changing World

  • 27 Nov, 2020
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Speaker: Prof. Chih-Han Chang(Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University)

Soil plays a significant role in the global carbon cycle. If soil respiration increases, more carbon dioxide will be released. As a result, the terrestrial environment is likely to be changed from a carbon sink to a carbon source. Earthworms could alter the distribution of organic matter in the soil, which in turn affects the biomass of microorganisms. The amount of carbon released from the soil depends on them. 

In theory, the presence of earthworms could increase biomass. More organisms can consume more energy for growth or activity, resulting in less carbon dioxide emitted. Prof. Chang’s 450-day field experiment fits the theory. However, the lab results run counter to it. 

Humans’ knowledge of soil organisms is limited. Whether earthworms will increase or decrease carbon dioxide produced from the soil remains a mystery. More research is needed to explore the relationship between microorganisms and ecosystem functions. 

Prof. Chang answered questions from the audience.


November 27, 2020​


National Taiwan University Global Change Research Center


National Taiwan University International Degree Program in Climate Change and Sustainable Development