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Plant-soil interactions

Trees both respond to and alter soils. For example, pine trees not only grow best in acid soils, they also can increase soil acidity through their leaf and root inputs. Furthermore, anticipating how ecosystems will respond to human-caused environmental changes requires insight into feedbacks among plants, microbes, and soil processes. We study how plants impact the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soils they grow on and use this information to (1) predict ecosystem-specific responses to environmental changes and (2) manage the urban soil environment for healthy, long-lived trees.