Dr. Lydia Zeglin: Small organisms respond to big changes: Landscape and decadal scale shifts in soil and aquatic microbiome structure and function
Microorganisms regulate critical biogeochemical functions including nitrogen cycling and decomposition processes, thus providing ecosystem services like soil fertility and water quality. Microbial activity, growth and survival are affected by nutrient availability at the cellular level, but this small-scale nutrient availability is in turn controlled by large-scale land management decisions and climatic variability. My lab’s work over the last five years has advanced general understanding of how these large-scale factors affect soil microbial diversity and activity, and the consequent feedbacks of these microbial responses to ecosystem functions. I will discuss a subset of this research.
First, I will underscore the primary importance of decadal-scale climate and nitrogen availability conditions for soil microbial diversity and activity. Next, I will discuss how the interactions between landscape-scale microorganismal dispersal vectors and local-scale soil nutrient conditions affect microbial community composition and potential decomposition activity. Finally, I will consider the conditions under which microbial community composition alone might predict aquatic microbial biogeochemical activity and ecosystem function. Overall, we have learned that long-term nutrient availability and microbial movement across landscapes are both important factors that must be understood to better predict and control microbial biogeochemical functions in the ecosystems of the future. View Abstract (PDF).
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 3:45pm