Animal and plant modification of biogeochemical cycling
Animals and plants can modify their environment in many ways: through the creation of unique physical structures and habitat, production of resources of varying quality for microbes and consumers, or by altering the availability of oxygen. I have examined these processes in natural ecosystems and in urban settings. In urban wetlands, I investigate the enhancement of greenhouse gas flux by aquatic fly larvae (Chironomidae) and worms (Oligochaeta). In rain garden soils, I use manipulative greenhouse experiments to examine the ways in which earthworms interact with different species of plants (sedges and rushes) to affect both denitrification and nitrogen assimilation and retention.