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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: 6208-12000-010-01
Project Type: Reimbursable

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

Objective:
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.

Approach:
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: 9/20/2014
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