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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328790

Title: Connecting soil microbial communities to soil functioning and soil health

item MOORE-KUCERA, JENNIFER - Texas Tech University
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/5/2015
Publication Date: 11/16/2015
Citation: Moore-Kucera, J., Acosta Martinez, V. 2015. Connecting soil microbial communities to soil functioning and soil health. [abstract] ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. November 15-18, 2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: One of the most important functions soils perform, is the capacity to buffer anthropogenic disturbances to sustain productivity while improving water and air quality. At the core of a healthy soil is a biological active and diverse community that provides internal nutrient cycling and is resilient to disturbance. Although soil chemical and physical properties are necessary components of a soil health assessment, soil biological properties are considered to be early ecosensors that provide information about the dynamic soil properties as affected by management shifts or changes due to changing climatic variables. This presentation aims to provide examples of the sensitivity of these biological properties in response to alternative agronomic practices to enhance soil and water sustainability as well as response to extreme drought and high temperatures. Our studies are located in a semi-arid environment that is challenged by a depleting water source, extreme weather events, and inherently low fertile soils. This environment also enables us to test short- and long-term impacts of management practices to ameliorate these challenges. A compilation of data will be provided that shows how we have been able to link shifts in the soil microbial structure via biochemical (fatty acid profiling) and molecular (next-generation sequencing) with important soil functions (aggregate stability, biogeochemical cycles, building organic matter, and carbon sequestration, etc.).