Kathleen Treseder

Kathleen Treseder
University of California, Irvine
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
361 Steinhaus Hall
Fields of interest
Microbial biogeochemistry
Description of scientific projects
Our work examines the role of fungi in mediating ecosystem responses to global change. Along with bacteria and other soil biota, fungi control several critical biogeochemical processes, including plant nutrient acquisition, decomposition of dead biomass, sequestration of nutrients in living and dead fungal tissue, and release of trace gases such as methyl halides. Laboratory studies have indicated that fungal growth and physiology can respond to atmospheric chemistry, nutrient availability, and soil temperature and moisture—all of which are altered by global change. As such, fungi may feed back to affect ecosystem functions under these conditions. However, soil microbes have traditionally been considered a “black box” within natural ecosystems, in which nutrient transformations sometimes occur and sometimes do not. We have no clear idea of the specific fungal groups involved, nor do we understand their individual responses to the enviro!