639 Morrill Hall
Mail: 286 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Ph.D., 2010, University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 2003, Harvard University
IB 100 Online, Biology in Today's World (Spring)
IB 452/NRES 462, Ecosystem Ecology (Fall odd years)
Terrestrial biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, stable isotope ecology, soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas dynamics, climate change
I am broadly interested in how human activities are changing how natural and managed ecosystems function and how ecosystem responses to global change can feedback to drive or slow future global change. My research is in terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with a focus on determining process rates and drivers of chemical transformations in the environment. I am particularly interested in the controls on greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of anthropogenic nitrogen inputs on soil nitrogen retention and loss, the effects of plant community composition shifts on soil nitrogen and carbon dynamics, and the coupling of biogeochemical cycles beyond carbon and nitrogen. An important component of my research is the development of novel methodological approaches using tracer and natural abundance stable isotope techniques, in particular to quantify soil dinitrogen emissions and gross fluxes of greenhouse gases.
My research program currently includes projects within two major themes: Controls on Redox-Sensitive Biogeochemical Processes, and Plant Community Composition Effects on Biogeochemical Processes. Specific projects include:
- Effects of Rainfall Intensification on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Midwest
- Controls on Dissimilatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium in Upland Soils
- Iron-mediated Biogeochemistry in Terrestrial Ecosystems
- Woody Polycultures as a Transformative Solution to Sustainable Agriculture
- Mycorrhizal Mediation of Forest Nutrient and Carbon Cycling
- Invasive Species Effects on Ecosystem Nitrogen Dynamics
- Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions in Bioenergy Cropping Systems as part of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI)
Portier EF, Silver WL, Yang WH (2019) Effects of an invasive perennial forb on gross soil nitrogen cycling and nitrous oxide fluxes. Ecology, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2716
Krichels A, Sanford R, Chee-Sanford J, DeLucia EH, Yang WH (2019) Historical soil drainage mediates the response of soil greenhouse gas emissions to intense precipitation events. Biogeochemistry, 142, 425-442
Suriyavirun N, Krichels A, Kent AD, Yang WH (2019) Microtopographic differences in soil properties and microbial community composition at the field scale. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 131, 71-80.
Yang WH, McNicol G, Teh YA , Wood TE, Estera-Molina K, Silver WL (2017) Evaluating the classical versus an emerging conceptual model of peatland methane dynamics. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 31, 1435–1453, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GB005622.
Yang WH, Silver WL (2016) Gross nitrous oxide production drives net nitrous oxide fluxes across a salt marsh landscape. Global Change Biology, 22, 2228-2237.
Yang WH, Silver WL (2016) Net soil-atmosphere fluxes mask gross production and consumption of nitrous oxide and methane in a managed ecosystem. Biogeosciences, 13, 1705-1715.
Yang WH, Liptzin D (2015) High potential for iron reduction in upland soils. Ecology, 96, 2015-2020.
Yang WH, McDowell AC, Brooks PD, Silver WL (2014) New high precision approach for measuring 15N-N2 gas fluxes from terrestrial ecosystems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 69, 234-241.
Yang WH, Weber KA, Silver WL (2012) Nitrogen loss from soil through anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to iron reduction. Nature Geoscience, 5, 538-541.
Yang WH, Teh YA, Silver WL (2011) A test of a field-based 15N-nitrous oxide pool dilution technique to measure gross N2O production in soil. Global Change Biology, 17, 3577–3588.
Burgin AM, Yang WH, Silver WL, Hamilton S (2011) Beyond C and N: How the microbial energy economy couples elemental cycles in diverse ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9, 44-52.