category: Research

Pastoralism and soil quality in the Kalahari

Land use change in the rangelands of Botswana is affecting soil properties. Pastoralism is the only viable livelihood for many rural poor in Botswana, and privatization of communal land is reducing the area of grazing available to those without land tenure. This has elevated stocking densities in communal areas, increasing …

Bacterial and fungal representation and interactions in a former degraded upland peatland vegetation mosaic undergoing restoration

Peatlands are under threat from land management, anthropogenic pollution and climate change. These factors are implicated in severe degradation of ombrotrophic peatlands in the Southern Pennines of northern England. Significant areas of unconsolidated bare peat are both highly vulnerable to peat erosion and resistant to natural re-vegetation. Restoration efforts during …

Bacterial and fungal communities in a degraded ombrotrophic peatland undergoing natural and managed re-vegetation

The UK hosts 15-19% of global upland ombrotrophic (rain fed) peatlands that are estimated to store 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon and represent a critical upland habitat with regard to biodiversity and ecosystem services provision. Net production is dependent on an imbalance between growth of peat-forming Sphagnum mosses and microbial …

Long-term effects of air pollution on microbial communities of moorland peat

Upland peatlands receive the majority of their ecosystem inputs through precipitation, which delivers not only moisture but also atmospheric gases and particulates. Pristine peatlands are characterised by nutrient limitation, leading to the establishment of oligotrophic organism communities both above- and below-ground. Sphagnum mosses in particular thrive, and their presence promotes …

Soil microbes of the Kalahari and the Pennines

Soil is a non-renewable resource which sustains life and delivers countless beneficial ecosystem services that we need and take for granted. The microbial diversity of soil dwarfs above-ground plant diversity, but is intimately linked with it. Whilst macroscopic ecology is a well-developed discipline that supports our efforts to manage and …

Diverse mycorrhizal representation and bacterial-fungal interactions in an upland peatland vegetation mosaic undergoing restoration

Peatlands are under threat from land management, anthropogenic pollution and climate change. These factors are implicated in severe degradation of peatlands in the southern Pennines of northern England. Significant areas of unconsolidated bare peat are both highly vulnerable to peat erosion and resistant to natural re-vegetation. Restoration efforts during the …