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Title: Scaling the Microbial Ecology of Soil Carbon (Final Report)

Technical Report ·
DOI:· OSTI ID:1869394
  1. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)

This work developed new techniques and discoveries in quantitative microbial ecology, focusing on soil carbon. The work advanced a new approach to stable isotope probing (SIP), adding a quantitative way to infer taxon-specific rates of growth, mortality, and associated carbon (C) fluxes in soil microbial communities, a framework that the work demonstrated can scale from individual microbial taxa to the integrated soil system. Among the “-omics” techniques in microbial ecology, those based on stable isotope probing (SIP) hold particular promise for addressing the challenge of scaling from molecules to the major biogeochemical element cycles. Because SIP measures directly the fluxes of elements into nucleic acids, it physically connects element flux to genetic information. The work explored new ways to quantify taxon-specific C-use and growth efficiency and tested hypotheses about responses of the soil microbial community to experimental warming and to latitudinal variation in temperature. This work pushed the frontier of –omics enabled techniques by demonstrating their applicability at the ecosystem scale, and by relating taxon-specific isotope assimilation to dissimilatory processes in the C cycle, thereby enabling the identification of organisms especially responsible for soil C loss, in other words, attributing ecosystem-scale element fluxes to individual microbial taxa.

Research Organization:
Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Organization:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER). Biological Systems Science Division
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Related documents include the peer-reviewed papers produced as a product of this work
Country of Publication:
United States