Thomas W. Crowther

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The stable isotopes of carbon ((12)C, (13)C) and nitrogen ((14)N, (15)N) represent powerful tools in food web ecology, providing a wide range of dietary information in animal consumers. However, identifying the temporal window over which a consumer's isotopic signature reflects its diet requires an understanding of elemental incorporation, a process that(More)
Soil biota play key roles in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, however, compared to our knowledge of above-ground plant and animal diversity, the biodiversity found in soils remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we present an assessment of soil biodiversity and biogeographic patterns across Central Park in New York City that spanned all three(More)
The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees,(More)
The consequences of deforestation for aboveground biodiversity have been a scientific and political concern for decades. In contrast, despite being a dominant component of biodiversity that is essential to the functioning of ecosystems, the responses of belowground biodiversity to forest removal have received less attention. Single-site studies suggest that(More)
Respiration by plants and microorganisms is primarily responsible for mediating carbon exchanges between the biosphere and atmosphere. Climate warming has the potential to influence the activity of these organisms, regulating exchanges between carbon pools. Physiological 'down-regulation' of warm-adapted species (acclimation) could ameliorate the predicted(More)
Saprotrophic fungal community composition, determined by the outcome of competitive mycelial interactions, is one of the many key factors affecting soil nutrient mineralisation and decomposition rates. Fungal communities are not generally predicted to be regulated by top-down factors, such as predation, but rather by bottom-up factors, including resource(More)
The relative contribution of top-down and bottom-up processes regulating primary decomposers can influence the strength of the link between the soil animal community and ecosystem functioning. Although soil bacterial communities are regulated by bottom-up and top-down processes, the latter are considered to be less important in structuring the diversity and(More)
Saprotrophic fungi are key regulators of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. They are the primary agents of plant litter decomposition and their hyphal networks, which grow throughout the soil–litter interface, represent highly dynamic channels through which nutrients are readily distributed. By ingesting hyphae and dispersing spores, soil(More)
Fungi are prominent components of most terrestrial ecosystems, both in terms of biomass and ecosystem functioning, but the hyper-diverse nature of most communities has obscured the search for unifying principles governing community organization. In particular, unlike plants and animals, observational studies provide little evidence for the existence of(More)
The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial(More)