Edward Ayres

Learn More
Understanding the relationship between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is critical to predicting and monitoring the effects of ecosystem changes on important soil processes. However, most of Earth’s soils are too biologically diverse to identify each species present and determine their functional role in food webs. The soil ecosystems of(More)
BACKGROUND Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of(More)
Forests have a key role as carbon sinks, which could potentially mitigate the continuing increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and associated climate change. We show that carbon dioxide enrichment, although causing short-term growth stimulation in a range of European tree species, also leads to an increase in soil microbial respiration and a(More)
The global distribution of soil animals and the relationship of below-ground biodiversity to above-ground biodiversity are not well understood. We examined 17,516 environmental 18S rRNA gene sequences representing 20 phyla of soil animals sampled from 11 locations covering a range of biomes and latitudes around the world. No globally cosmopolitan taxa were(More)
Antarctic ecosystems are often considered nearly pristine because levels of anthropogenic disturbance are extremely low there. Nevertheless, over recent decades there has been a rapid increase in the number of people, researchers and tourists, visiting Antarctica. We evaluated, over 10 years, the direct impact of foot traffic on the abundance of soil(More)
Mosses are one of the most diverse and widespread groups of plants and often form the dominant vegetation in montane, boreal and arctic ecosystems. However, unlike higher plants, mosses lack developed root and vascular systems, which is thought to limit their access to soil nutrients. Here, we test the ability of two physiologically and taxonomically(More)
Critical transition zones, such as aquatic–terrestrial interfaces, have been recognized as important features in landscape ecology. Yet changes in the community structure of soil and sediment biota across aquatic–terrestrial boundaries remain relatively unstudied. We investigated the community structure of the dominant fauna, namely nematodes, rotifers and(More)
Dust deposition to mountain snow cover, which has increased since the late 19(th) century, accelerates the rate of snowmelt by increasing the solar radiation absorbed by the snowpack. Snowmelt occurs earlier, but is decoupled from seasonal warming. Climate warming advances the timing of snowmelt and early season phenological events (e.g., the onset of(More)
Snow accumulation can influence soil properties in arctic and alpine tundra, boreal and temperate forests, and temperate grasslands. However, snow may be even more influential in arid ecosystems, which by definition are water limited, such as the hyper-arid polar desert of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Moreover, snow accumulation may be altered by(More)
In the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, above-ground production is often limited to mosses and algae that occur near seasonally available liquid water such as ephemeral streams and ice-covered lakes. Compared to surrounding dry soils these critical transition zones are highly productive and harbor a more diverse assemblage of soil animals,(More)