category: Research

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 …

Soil microbial diversity and spatiality across peatland vegetation mosaics under restoration in the southern Pennines, UK

Impacts of degraded blanket bog restoration on culturable and non-culturable soil bacterial and fungal biodiversity and spatiality were assessed. Peat sampled from unvegetated peat areas and from 3 restored vegetation classes, remnant vegetation and grass dominated gullies were subjected to culturable microbial enumeration and rDNA based community profiling and pyrosequencing. …

Impacts of peatland restoration on the identity and distribution of soil microbial communities in vegetation mosaics

Diversity and functioning of soil microbial drivers in peatland ecosystems remain poorly investigated. We report on culture-dependent and -independent characterisation of soil bacterial and fungal communities and primary geospatial relationships identified in bare peat and vegetation mosaics that have resulted from active restoration of degraded peatland in the southern Pennines.

Long-term partial nitrification in an intermittently aerated sequencing batch reactor (SBR) treating ammonium-rich wastewater under controlled oxygen-limited conditions

Highlights Development of a novel technology for partial nitrification at ambient temperature. First time to use online NH4-–N measurement as a control parameter for bioreactors. RT-PCR analysis shows the population size of AOB was up to 10% of total bacteria. Intermittent aeration and oxygen-limited conditions sustained partial nitrification. The bioreactor …

Dynamic changes in microbial community structure and function in phenol-degrading microcosms inoculated with cells from a contaminated aquifer

Contamination of aquifers by organic pollutants threatens groundwater supplies and the environment. In situ biodegradation of organic pollutants by microbial communities is important for the remediation of contaminated sites, but our understanding of the relationship between microbial development and pollutant biodegradation is poor. A particular challenge is understanding the in …

Quantification of biofilm and planktonic communities

Biofilms are difficult to quantify especially when microscopic observations are impractical. However it is important to quantify attached cell numbers to complement planktonic cell counts in order to achieve a holistic understanding of microbial processes. Traditional counting methods, including microscopic techniques and serial dilution plating, generally require biofilms to be …