category: Research

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 …

What do we want from Long-Term Ecology?

The University of Derby is currently evaluating the potential of its land in Buxton for long-term ecological experiments – extending and enhancing existing research. In this presentation we will introduce the field site and explain how an idea was developed into a proposal which appealed to a broad base of …

Analyses of taxon-clusters in replicated networks to assess alternative microbiomes in corals

Coral reefs face unprecedented declines in diversity and cover, a development attributed largely 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 Micronesia …