category: Research

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 …

Niche partitioning of bacterial communities in biological crusts and soils under grasses, shrubs and trees in the Kalahari

The Kalahari of southern Africa is characterised by sparse vegetation interspersed with microbe-dominated biological soil crusts (BSC) which deliver a range of ecosystem services including soil stabilisation and carbon fixation. We characterised the bacterial communities of BSCs (0–1 cm depth) and the subsurface soil (1–2 cm depth) in an area typical of …

Microbial community composition of biological soil crusts and subsoil in the Kalahari

The Kalahari of southern Africa is characterised by sparse vegetation interspersed with biological soil crusts which deliver a range of ecosystem services including soil stabilisation and carbon fixation. The crusts vary in morphology from barely aggregated sand grains, to strongly aggregated thick crusts with dark pigmentation. Crust morphology and development …

Bio-physical competition for pore space and the micro-environment in BSC covered Kalahari Sand soils: Modelling soil thermal, hydraulic and gas efflux behaviour

Soil pore and particle matrices both facilitate and constrain soil-atmosphere exchange of heat, moisture and gas. Further, in soils covered by Biological Soil Crusts (BSCs), soil structure differs in the BSC (<1cm) and near surface layers. Soil-atmosphere gas exchange occurs primarily by diffusion, moisture flow by capillarity and hydrostatic pressure, …

Diversity of planktonic and attached bacterial communities in a phenol-contaminated sandstone aquifer

Polluted aquifers contain indigenous microbial communities with the potential for in situ bioremediation. However, the effect of hydrogeochemical gradients on in situ microbial communities (especially at the plume fringe, where natural attenuation is higher) is still not clear. In this study, we used culture-independent techniques to investigate the diversity of …

Fragmentación, ecología del suelo y su interacción con las plantas: exploración del cambio global mediterráneo en un microcosmos experimental

La fragmentación del hábitat es uno de los principales motores de cambio global en los ecosistemas Mediterráneos (MEA, 2005). La magnitud de las perturbaciones asociadas a la fragmentación a menudo se relaciona con el tamaño del fragmento (Lindenmayer y Fisher, 2006). La disponibilidad de agua es un factor limitante en …