Office of Research, UC Riverside
Darrel Jenerette
Professor of Functional Landscape Ecol& Prof. Landscape Ecol
Botany and Plant Sciences
gdjen@ucr.edu
(951) 827-7113


DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Connecting dryland soil trace gas emissions of NOx, N2O and CO2 to changes in microbial community characteristics along a nitr

AWARD NUMBER
006747-002
FUND NUMBER
21252
STATUS
Closed
AWARD TYPE
3-Grant
AWARD EXECUTION DATE
5/15/2014
BEGIN DATE
6/1/2014
END DATE
9/30/2015
AWARD AMOUNT
$19,745

Sponsor Information

SPONSOR AWARD NUMBER
DEB-1405525
SPONSOR
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
SPONSOR TYPE
Federal
FUNCTION
Organized Research
PROGRAM NAME

Proposal Information

PROPOSAL NUMBER
14040260
PROPOSAL TYPE
New
ACTIVITY TYPE
Basic Research

PI Information

PI
Jenerette, Darrel
PI TITLE
Other
PI DEPTARTMENT
Botany and Plant Sciences
PI COLLEGE/SCHOOL
College of Nat & Agr Sciences
CO PIs

Project Information

ABSTRACT

The importance of species diversity and community composition for ecosystem processes has been shown in plants and animals, but fewer studies have focused on soil microorganisms. Soil microorganisms may play an important role in processes contributing to climate change and air pollution through production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Scientists currently estimate the existence of millions to billions of microbial species, but how changes in species composition relate to ecosystem function is not well understood. This study will combine measurements of soil gas production with advanced techniques for DNA analysis to examine diversity of soil bacteria and fungi to address the following questions: 1) How does air pollution affect species composition of soil microorganisms and what is the impact on ecosystem processes? 2) To what extent does microbial community composition influence feedbacks to climate change and air pollution? This study will use experimental manipulations in the Colorado Desert of southern California to investigate how temperature, soil moisture and nutrient availability regulate soil microbiological feedbacks. The results will increase predictive power for the impact of future climate scenarios on ecosystem processes, and contribute to a deeper understanding of microbial ecology.

Drylands cover greater than 30% of the global land surface. Increasing human activity in drylands intensifies air pollution with unknown consequences. Knowledge of the relationships between microbial community structure and soil feedbacks to global change drivers can inform land management strategies and be incorporated into agricultural practices to reduce pollution and improve efficiency. Furthermore, this research will inform regulatory bodies so that soil feedbacks are considered when emission standards are set. Finally, the project will provide new educational opportunities to a wide audience, including graduate, undergraduate, and primary students from local schools. These opportunities will feature new environmental genetic techniques that have only recently become available. The skills and knowledge gained from the study will be incorporated into community outreach events that aim to excite children from local elementary and high schools about science and college opportunities.
(Abstract from NSF)