Something's rotten: Multiple views into how wood rots

Seminar followed by drinks

Woody plants are the largest aboveground terrestrial biotic store of C. Once trees die, this carbon is eventually released back to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4. To date, the slow turnover carbon pool in deadwood is poorly understood from field studies and poorly parameterized in global models. Carbon however is lost from deadwood via several pathways. Fungi are the main decay agent around the world but insects, especially termites, become relevant in many tropical locations. Amy will present on several field projects she has been working on from tropical and temperate locations around the world. In this work, she has been linking how the location where rot happens and the physical and chemical construction of wood influences the rates and forms that carbon is released back to the atmosphere. Additionally, she has been examining interactions between these plant construction traits and the different decay agents.

Amy Zanne is an Associate Professor at George Washington University. She is currently on sabbatical as a visiting IdEx fellow at University of Bordeaux. In her research, she examines the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the anatomical, morphological and chemical construction of plants. Her projects range from how plant construction affects the saprobic microbe and termite community composition and how these shape carbon flux from deadwood to determining the plant adaptations necessary for plants to colonize novel environments. Before becoming a faculty, she was a NESCent and NSF postdoctoral scholar with her research based at Macquarie University and University of California, Berkeley. She was also a postdoctoral scholar at Tufts University. She completed her PhD and MSc at University of Florida and BA at Dartmouth College.