102899 Accessing Soil Microbial Community and Functional Differences of Environmental Samples.
Poster Number 466-407
We do not yet have a firm comprehension of how to collectively characterize microbial genetic, physiological, or taxonomic diversity, and much less comprehensive understanding of how to relate this diversity to actual ecosystem processes and functioning, but we are making great strides towards a better understanding. We have conducted microbial ecology studies addressing the impact of wind erosion, extreme heat and drought, and toxic contaminants have on the microbial population. It was found that shifts in microbial community and diversity may be used as sensitive indicators of ecosystem health.
This research is ongoing; however the tools and techniques being developed or improved are essential for characterizing the diversity and the community composition of microorganisms, as affected by changes in the environment, specifically the soil ecosystem. The work will focus on estimating how climate change, agricultural and waste management practices may impact the soil ecosystem, in hope of providing education material to the public, leading to improved/sustainable management practices.