Next Science Café Cleveland to focus on soil, its ecological community

Science Cafe Cleveland logoThe next Science Café Cleveland event will feature a talk on “Soil: The Surprising Diversity Under Your Feet,” by Jean Burns, assistant professor of biology, and Colin Cope, a PhD student.

Soil harbors a complex ecological community that scientists are just now beginning to understand. It varies a great deal from one place to another, and its properties can change over time as the organisms that make up the soil community come and go or change in their abundance.

The characteristics of a soil and its ecological community are important for determining the types of plants that can grow in a particular area. The plants in a particular area, in turn, have major effects on the soil in which they grow by influencing soil chemistry and nutrients and the pathogens (detrimental organisms) and mutualists (beneficial organisms) found there. In return, these plant-induced changes can affect how well these and other plants are able to grow in the soil in the future.

At this event, Burns will discuss her research on “Plant-Soil Feedbacks” and how such feedback loops can affect plant invasions and coexistence in plant communities in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

The event—sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN ideastream and the Market Garden Brewery—will take place Monday, March 10, at 7 p.m. at the Market Garden Brewery (1947 W. 25th St.).

Attendees are advised to arrive early, as past sessions have approached capacity.

More information about the event can be found at the Sigma Xi website.