February 18, 2022
10:00 am - 11:00 am EST
Speaker: Dr. Erika Diaz-Almeyda, New College
Soil often contains enormous amounts of microbial biomass and is home to incredibly complex and diverse microbial communities. Soil microbes play key roles in nutrient cycling, organic matter degradation, ecosystem resilience, and human health. An emerging body of research suggests that human land use can powerfully impact microbial communities in a variety of ways, but impacts on the soil microbiome are still poorly understood.
Dr. Diaz and her students sampled microbial communities across three urban sites exhibiting an array of land management types: a sustainable demonstration home landscape (including biodiverse gardens and a native thicket), adjacent lawns, and a nearby preserve. We assessed land management practices and measured soil carbon, other soil nutrients, and plant community composition across land management types to determine which factors were the best predictors of microbial community structure and diversity.