Stefan Geisen

Stefan Geisen
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Laboratory of Nematology

PhD

About

153
Publications
106,181
Reads
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4,788
Citations
Introduction
Stefan Geisen started at the end of 2019 at the Laboratory of Nematology at Wageningen University after finishing a 5 year postdoc and junior group leading position at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). Stefan works on soil microbial ecology with a particular focus on protists and nematodes, but also other soil biodiversity. Furthermore, he studies the distribution and function of soil organisms and their effects on plant performance in experimental studies. Among his other interests are method improvements for more user-friendly soil biodiversity efforts.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
Position
  • Group Leader
Description
  • Investigating soil biodiversity effects on plant performance with a focus on protists
November 2016 - December 2017
Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2016 - October 2016
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2008 - September 2010
University of Cologne
Field of study
  • Biology
October 2006 - September 2008
University of Cologne
Field of study
  • Biology
January 2005 - May 2006

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
Soil fungi, protists, and animals (i.e., the eukaryome) play a critical role in key ecosystem functions in terrestrial ecosystems. Yet, we lack a holistic understanding of the processes shaping the global distribution of the eukaryome. We conducted a molecular analysis of 193 composite soil samples spanning the world's major biomes. Our analysis sh...
Article
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Microbes dominate the planet's biodiversity in terms of species number and by driving essential Earth system functions such as the carbon cycle. Soils contain most of this microbial biodiversity. Only recently, we have started to better understand the diversity of bacteria and fungi at the global scale. Here, I list my views on some shortcomings of...
Article
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Metabarcoding of microbial eukaryotes (collectively known as protists) has developed tremendously in the last decade, almost solely relying on the 18S rRNA gene. As microbial eukaryotes are extremely diverse, many primers and primer pairs have been developed. To cover a relevant and representative fraction of the protist community in a given study...
Article
Full-text available
Plants allocate resources to processes related to growth and enemy‐defence. Simultaneously, they interact with complex soil microbiomes that also affect plant performance. While the influence of individual microbial groups on single plants is increasingly studied, effects of microbial interactions on growth, defence and growth‐defence relationships...
Article
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Afforestation is an effective method to restore degraded land. Afforestation methods vary in their effects on ecosystem multifunctionality, but their effects on soil biodiversity have been largely overlooked. Here, we mapped the biodiversity and functioning of multiple soil organism groups resulting from diverse afforestation methods in tropical co...
Article
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Beyond interacting with neighboring plants, crop performance is affected by the microbiome that includes pathogens and mutualists. While the importance of plant–plant interactions in explaining overyielding in intercropping is well known, the role of the microbiome, in particular how the presence of microbes from heterospecific crop species inhibit...
Article
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Metazoan metabarcoding is emerging as an essential strategy for inventorying biodiversity, with diverse projects currently generating massive quantities of community-level data. The potential for integrating across such data sets offers new opportunities to better understand biodiversity and how it might respond to global change. However, large-sca...
Article
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To feed the growing human population, natural grasslands are being converted to agricultural use at a massive scale. This conversion may have negative consequences for soil biodiversity, but its impact on the community assembly of differentially microbial groups remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the diversity and community compositions...
Article
Introduction The soil bacterial microbiome plays a crucial role in ecosystem functioning. The composition and functioning of the microbiome are tightly controlled by the physicochemical surrounding. Therefore, the microbiome is responsive to management, such as fertilization, and to climate change, such as extreme drought. It remains a challenge to...
Article
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It is generally assumed that the dependence of conventional agriculture on artificial fertilizers and pesticides strongly impacts the environment, while organic agriculture relying more on microbial functioning may mitigate these impacts. However, it is not well known how microbial diversity and community composition change in conventionally manage...
Article
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Predatory protists are major consumers of soil micro-organisms. By selectively feeding on their prey, they can shape soil microbiome composition and functions. While different protists are known to show diverging impacts, it remains impossible to predict a priori the effect of a given species. Various protist traits including phylogenetic distance,...
Article
Anthropogenic land use is threatening global biodiversity. As one of the most abundant animals on Earth, nematodes occupy several key positions in belowground food webs and contribute to many ecosystem functions and services. However, the effects of land use on nematode abundance and its determinants remain poorly understood at a global scale. To c...
Article
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Nematode predation plays an essential role in determining the rhizosphere microbiome. In doing so, predation dynamically affects the soil nutrient cycling, for instance, by shifting the availability of phosphorus (P) for plant uptake.
Article
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Here we introduce the Soil BON Foodweb Team, a cross-continental collaborative network that aims to monitor soil animal communities and food webs using consistent methodology at a global scale. Soil animals support vital soil processes via soil structure modification, consumption of dead organic matter, and interactions with microbial and plant com...
Article
The health and functioning of soil ecosystems are the foundation of sustainable food production and land management. Of key importance in achieving sustainability, is the frequent measurement of soil health, and indices based on the community structure of nematodes are amongst the most widely used toolsets by soil ecologists. Thirty years after the...
Article
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Metabarcoding approaches are exponentially increasing our understanding of soil biodiversity, with a major focus on the bacterial part of the microbiome. Part of the soil diversity are also eukaryotes that include fungi, algae, protists, and Metazoa. Nowadays, soil eukaryotes are targeted with the same approaches developed for bacteria and archaea...
Article
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Plant health is strongly impacted by beneficial and pathogenic plant microbes, which are themselves structured by resource inputs. Organic fertilizer inputs may thus offer a means of steering soil-borne microbes, thereby affecting plant health. Concurrently, soil microbes are subject to top-down control by predators, particularly protists. However,...
Article
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Heterolobosea is one of the major protist groups in soils. While an increasing number of soil heterolobosean species has been described, we have likely only scratched the surface of heterolobosean diversity in soils. Here, we expand this knowledge by morphologically and molecularly classifying four novel strains. One was identified as Naegleria cla...
Article
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Pedogenesis determines soil physicochemical properties and many biodiversity facets, including belowground microbial bacteria and fungi. At the local scale, top-down predation by microbial protists regulates the soil microbiome, while the microbiome also affects protistan communities. However, it remains unknown how pedogenesis affects protistan co...
Article
Soil photoautotrophic prokaryotes and micro-eukaryotes – known as soil algae – are, together with heterotrophic microorganisms, a constitutive part of the microbiome in surface soils. Similar to plants, they fix atmospheric carbon (C) through photosynthesis for their own growth, yet their contribution to global and regional biogeochemical C cycling...
Article
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Soil organisms drive major ecosystem functions by mineralising carbon and releasing nutrients during decomposition processes, which supports plant growth, aboveground biodiversity and, ultimately, human nutrition. Soil ecologists often operate with functional groups to infer the effects of individual taxa on ecosystem functions and services. Simult...
Preprint
Full-text available
Here we introduce the Soil BON Foodweb Team, a cross-continental collaborative network that aims to monitor soil animal communities and food webs using consistent methodology at a global scale. Soil animals support vital soil processes via soil structure modification, direct consumption of dead organic matter, and interactions with microbial and pl...
Chapter
Protists are the most abundant and diverse eukaryotes that inhabit virtually all soils. They are active players in soil food webs as phototrophic algae, plant and animal parasites, and microbiome predators. As predators, protists lead to modification of their prey community composition typically promoting functions linked to (plant-)pathogen suppre...
Article
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and terrestrial plants form one of the most important and ubiquitous symbioses on the planet. Although the central role of AM fungi in rhizosphere processes is well established, the extent of their influence on the development of the whole soil microbial community is less well characterized. We assessed the tempora...
Article
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There are millions of species living in soils. Most of this biodiversity is made up of bacteria and fungi, tiny organisms that make up what is called the soil microbiome. The size and composition of the soil microbiome is mainly controlled by two groups of predators: protists and nematodes. Protists are tiny single-celled organisms, while nematodes...
Preprint
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Climate warming will likely disrupt the flow of matter and energy within ecosystems, threatening the global carbon balance. Microorganisms are fundamental components of carbon cycling and are thus integral to ecosystem climate responses. However, ecosystem responses to warming are uncertain due to the functional and trophic complexity of microbial...
Article
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Air is a major conduit for the dispersal of organisms at the local and the global scale. Most research has focused on the dispersal of plants, vertebrates and human disease agents. However, the air represents a key dispersal medium also for bacteria, fungi and protists. Many of those represent potential pathogens of animals and plants and have unti...
Article
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We have profound knowledge on biodiversity on Earth including plants and animals. In the recent decade, we have also increased our understanding on microorganisms in different hosts and the environment. However, biodiversity is not equally well studied among different biodiversity groups and Earth's systems with eukaryotes in freshwater sediments b...
Article
Global change frequently disrupts the connections among species, as well as among species and their environment, before the most obvious impacts can be detected. Therefore, we need to develop a unified conceptual framework that allows us to predict early ecological impacts under changing environments. The concept of coupling, defined as the multipl...
Article
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The colossal project of mapping the microbiome on Earth is rapidly advancing, with a focus on individual microbial groups. However, a global assessment of the associations between predatory protists and their bacterial prey is still missing at a cross-ecosystem level. This knowledge is critical to better understand the importance of top-down links...
Article
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The use of antibiotics in humans and animals results in a release of excess antibiotic residues into the environment through wastewaters and insufficient removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). This can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance through increasing numbers of bacteria enriched in antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Howev...
Article
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Background Microbiomes play vital roles in plant health and performance, and the development of plant beneficial microbiomes can be steered by organic fertilizer inputs. Especially well-studied are fertilizer-induced changes on bacteria and fungi and how changes in these groups alter plant performance. However, impacts on protist communities, inclu...
Article
Soil-borne plant diseases cause major economic losses globally. This is partly because their epidemiology is difficult to predict in agricultural fields, where multiple environmental factors could determine disease outcomes. Here we used a combination of field sampling and direct experimentation to identify key abiotic and biotic soil properties th...
Article
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Herbicides are one of the most widely used chemicals in agriculture. While they are known to be harmful to non-target organisms, the effects of herbicides on the composition and functioning of soil microbial communities remain unclear. Here we show that application of three widely used herbicides-glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba-increase the pre...
Article
Anthropogenic activities are supposed to reduce global biodiversity and negatively influence the development of diverse groups in the tree of life. Yet how agricultural management shapes the diversity of microscopic organisms and their evolution in the soil, especially at large spatial scale, remains unknown. Here, we investigated how agricultural...
Article
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The mycobiome (fungal microbiome) influences plants— from seed germination to full maturation. While many studies on fungal‐plant interaction studies have focused on known mutualistic and pathogenic fungi, the functional role of ubiquitous endophytic fungi remains little explored. We examined how root‐inhabiting fungi (endophytes) influence range e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabarcoding of microbial eukaryotes (collectively known as protists) has developed tremendously in the last decade, almost uniquely relying on the 18S rRNA gene. As microbial eukaryotes are extremely diverse, many primers and primer pairs have been developed. To cover a relevant and representative fraction of the protist community in a given stud...
Chapter
Soils are home for a huge variety of organisms that are profoundly enriched in the rhizosphere. The most abundant ones, microbial bacteria (and to a lesser extent archaea) and fungi, directly compete for plant-derived nutrients that they use for reproduction. Predators of these minute microorganisms control their abundances, community structure and...
Article
Full-text available
Protists dominate eukaryotic diversity and play key functional roles in all ecosystems, particularly by catalyzing carbon and nutrient cycling. To date, however, a comparative analysis of their taxonomic and functional diversity that compares the major ecosystems on Earth (soil, freshwater and marine systems) is missing. Here, we present a comparis...
Article
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Body size is a key life-history trait that influences community assembly by affecting how ecological processes operate at the organism level. However, the extent to which the relative influences of ecological processes mediate the assembly of differentially sized soil organisms is still unknown. Here, we investigate the community assembly of differ...
Article
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Soils host most biodiversity on Earth, with a major fraction of its taxonomic diversity still to be uncovered and most of its functional knowledge to be determined. Much focus has been - and still is - on bacteria, fungi and animals. Clearly, without any of those components, soils would not function as they do. However, the group that constitutes t...
Article
Nematodes form an important part of soil biodiversity as the most abundant and functionally diverse animals affecting plant performance. Most studies on plant–nematode interactions are focused on agriculture, while plant–nematode interactions in nature are less known. Here we highlight that nematodes can contribute to vegetation dynamics through di...
Article
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Bacteria and fungi are of uttermost importance in determining environmental and host functioning. Despite close interactions between animals, plants, their associated microbiomes, and the environment they inhabit, the distribution and role of bacteria and especially fungi across host and environments as well as the cross‐habitat determinants of the...
Preprint
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Plant health is essential for food production, but plants are often affected by pathogens that can threaten plant performance including crop yield. Unfortunately, we can often only predict plant health when pathogens have infected plants and can no longer be controlled – and by then it is too late. To counteract pathogens, farmers often apply exten...
Article
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Climate change is known to disrupt aboveground food chains when the various trophic layers respond differently to warming. However, little is known about belowground food chains involving microbial preys and their predators. Here, we study how climate warming-induced heat shocks influence resistance (change immediately after a disturbance) and resi...
Article
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Background The soil mycobiome is composed of a complex and diverse fungal community, which includes functionally diverse species ranging from plant pathogens to mutualists. Among the latter are arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that provide phosphorous (P) to plants. While plant hosts and abiotic parameters are known to structure AMF communities,...
Article
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Climate change causes species range expansions to higher latitudes and altitudes. It is expected that, due to differences in dispersal abilities between plants and soil biota, range-expanding plant species will become associated with a partly new belowground community in their expanded range. Theory on biological invasions predicts that outside the...
Article
Soil bacteria and fungi are key drivers of carbon released from soils to the atmosphere through decomposition of plant-derived organic carbon sources. This process has important consequences for the global climate. While global change factors, such as increased temperature, are known to affect bacterial- and fungal-mediated decomposition rates, the...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Plant diseases caused by fungal pathogen result in a substantial economic impact on the global food and fruit industry. Application of organic fertilizers supplemented with biocontrol microorganisms (i.e. bioorganic fertilizers) has been shown to improve resistance against plant pathogens at least in part due to impacts on the structur...
Article
The soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica are established models for understanding fundamental processes in soil ecosystem functioning (e.g. ecological tipping points, community structuring, and nutrient cycling) because the extreme physical environment drastically reduces biodiversity and ecological complexity. Understanding the fun...
Article
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We used Chinese liquor fermentation as a model system to show that microbiome composition changes more dramatically across seasons than throughout the fermentation process within seasons. These changes translate to differences in the metabolome as the ultimate functional outcome of microbial activity, suggesting that temporal changes in microbiome...
Article
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AimsMicrobial inoculation has been proposed as a potential approach for rhizosphere engineering. However, it is still unclear to what extent successful plant growth-promoting effects are driven by the origin of the microbial inocula and which taxa are responsible for the plant-beneficial effects.Methods We conducted a microbial transplant experimen...
Article
br/> 1. Plant‐derived low molecular weight compounds play a crucial role in shaping soil microbiome functionality. While various compounds have been demonstrated to affect soil microbes, mout data are case‐specific and do not provide generalizable predictions on their effects. Here we show that the chemical structural affiliation of low molecular w...
Article
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Managing plant health is a great challenge for modern food production and is further complicated by the lack of common ground between the many disciplines involved in disease control. Here we present the concept of rhizosphere immunity, in which plant health is considered as an ecosystem level property emerging from networks of interactions between...
Article
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Plant species that expand their range in response to current climate change will encounter soil communities that may hinder, allow, or even facilitate plant performance. It has been shown repeatedly for plant species originating from other continents that these plants are less hampered by soil communities from the new than from the original range....
Article
Full-text available
As the most abundant animals on earth, nematodes are a dominant component of the soil community. They play critical roles in regulating biogeochemical cycles and vegetation dynamics within and across landscapes and are an indicator of soil biological activity. Here, we present a comprehensive global dataset of soil nematode abundance and functional...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Plant diseases caused by fungal pathogen result in a substantial economic impact on the global food and fruit industry. Application of organic fertilizers supplemented with biocontrol microorganisms (i.e. bioorganic fertilizers) has been shown to improve resistance against plant pathogens at least in part due to impacts on the structure...