category: Research

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 …

Wetlands in Drylands: Hidden Hotspots of Carbon Sequestration and Storage?

Although the term ‘wetlands in drylands’ sounds like a contradiction, many drylands host a range of ephemeral wetlands. Pans, for example, are widespread features in many drylands, representing topographic depressions of varying size and shape that host ephemeral, sometimes saline, bodies of shallow water following infrequent precipitation or river flooding …

The Influence of Trees, Shrubs and Grasses on Micro-Climate, Soil Carbon, Nitrogen and CO2 Efflux: Potential Implications of Shrub Encroachment for Kalahari Rangelands

Shrub encroachment is a well-documented phenomenon affecting many of the world’s drylands. The alteration of vegetation structure and species composition can lead to changes in local microclimate and soil properties which in turn affect carbon cycling. The objectives of this paper were to quantify differences in air temperatures, soil carbon, …

Integrating microbiomics into peatland management and restoration

Peatlands are Important global carbon stores but are also sensitive climatically controlled ecosystems dependent on the maintenance of high water tables. Consequently they are under threat in warmer drier future climate conditions. The natural resilience of peatland systems and the potential to engineer resilience through peatland restoration are therefore important …

Microbial transport and soil integrity in drylands

Dryland soils are particularly vulnerable to erosion because of low plant cover and low organic matter which is linked with water availability and biological constraints. It is increasingly recognised that dryland soils can be managed to minimise erosion, which has benefits such as increasing soil fertility, carbon storage, and prevention …