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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Soil Microbial Communities: Key Indicators of Soil C

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Project Number: 3096-12000-011-01
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Mar 01, 2012
End Date: Dec 19, 2016

Our long-term goal is to expand and dovetail our current research approaches to characterize and identify keystone microbial community assemblages associated with enhanced ecosystem functionality, including C transformation and sequestration and key enzymatic activities involved in biogeochemical process.

About 26 Sites will be selected with representative soils from the Texas High Plains, which are currently under and recently out of CRP for different years. Deep soil sampling (1-2 m depth) will be used to assess the spatial distribution of soil C stocks (organic and inorganic) and associated microbial communities. Soil C stocks will be measured via an aggregate fractionation method, which separates free soil organic matter (SOM) from SOM occluded by macro-and micro-aggregates and clay and silt microstructures. Soil microbial biomass C, soil enzyme assays and quantitative PCR techniques targeting C cycling will aid in short-term evaluations in microbial functionality and C mineralization of residues and SOM. In addition, novel pyrosequencing analyses of the bacterial and fungal communities will be utilized to characterize microbial diversity.

Last Modified: 11/25/2015
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