category: Research

Putting biodiversity on the map

Biodiversity is the foundation of functioning ecosystems and provides resources that humans need to survive and prosper. Whilst this simple fact is obvious, collective actions of people are driving biodiversity loss at an alarming rate. Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of this problem and a new enthusiasm for protecting …

Methane production and oxidation potentials along a fen‐bog gradient from southern boreal to subarctic peatlands in Finland

Methane (CH4) emissions from northern peatlands are projected to increase due to climate change, primarily because of projected increases in soil temperature. Yet, the rates and temperature responses of the two CH4 emission-related microbial processes (CH4 production by methanogens and oxidation by methanotrophs) are poorly known. Further, peatland sites within a fen-bog …

Towards a microbial process-based understanding of the resilience of peatland ecosystem service provisioning – A research agenda

Peatlands are wetland ecosystems with great significance as natural habitats and as major global carbon stores. They have been subject to widespread exploitation and degradation with resulting losses in characteristic biota and ecosystem functions such as climate regulation. More recently, large-scale programmes have been established to restore peatland ecosystems and …

Effects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest Kalahari

Shrub encroachment is occurring in many of the world’s drylands, but its impacts on ecosystem structure and function are still poorly understood. In particular, it remains unclear how shrub encroachment affects dryland soil surfaces, including biological soil crust (biocrust) communities. In this study, soil surfaces (0–1 cm depth) were sampled from …

The effect of soil incubation on bio self-healing of cementitious mortar

Successful implementation of bacteria-based self-healing in cracked cementitious materials requires the provision of a suitable incubation environment, which can activate the bacteria to produce e.g. calcium carbonate sealing the cracks. Research to date has focused on the self-healing process in humid air and water. However, almost all structures are built …

Compositional homogeneity in the pathobiome of a new, slow-spreading coral disease

Coral reefs face unprecedented declines in diversity and cover, a development largely attributed to climate change-induced bleaching and subsequent disease outbreaks. Coral-associated microbiomes may strongly influence the fitness of their hosts and alter heat tolerance and disease susceptibility of coral colonies. Here, we describe a new coral disease found in …

Do some microbes exploit biocrusts?

Biocrusts are recognised for numerous beneficial functions in dryland environments including the promotion of surface stability, moisture retention, and sequestration of carbon and nitrogen from the air which enriches the soil. In microbial biocrusts these benefits are delivered as a consequence of the microbial community adaptations for survival. The biocrust …

Experimental data of bio self-healing concrete incubated in saturated natural soil

The provision of suitable incubation environments is vital for successful implementation of bio self-healing concrete (bio-concrete). We investigated the effect of soil incubation to examine if the self-healing process can be activated in comparison with the conventional incubation environment (water). The data was collected from laboratory-scale experiments conducted on mortar …

Microbiological self-healing of structural concrete underground incubation for geotechnical applications

Concrete is the most used construction material worldwide for infrastructure projects. Due to deterioration, regular maintenance works are necessary to seal the concrete cracks and restore durability. In Europe, infrastructures such as tunnels, bridges and earth retaining walls alone cost approximately 5 billion EUR per year. Self-healing strategies (particularly bacterial-based …