Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Environmental Controls Over the Distribution and Function of Antarctic Soil Bacterial Communities
by Geyer, Kevin Michael, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2014, 108; 10595323
Abstract (Summary)

Microbial community composition plays a vital role in soil biogeochemical cycling. Information that explains the biogeography of microorganisms is consequently necessary for predicting the timing and magnitude of important ecosystem services mediated by soil biota, such as decomposition and nutrient cycling. Theory developed to explain patterns in plant and animal distributions such as the prevalent relationship between ecosystem productivity and diversity may be successfully extended to microbial systems and accelerate an emerging ecological understanding of the "unseen majority." These considerations suggest a need to define the important mechanisms which affect microbial biogeography as well as the sensitivity of community structure/function to changing climatic or environmental conditions. To this end, my dissertation covers three data chapters in which I have 1) examined patterns in bacterial biogeography using gradients of environmental severity and productivity to identify changes in community diversity (e.g. taxonomic richness) and structure (e.g. similarity); 2) detected potential bacterial ecotypes associated with distinct soil habitats such as those of high alkalinity or electrical conductivity and; 3) measured environmental controls over the function (e.g. primary production, exoenzyme activity) of soil organisms in an environment of severe environmental limitations. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barrett, John E.
School: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-B 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Microbiology, Soil sciences
Keywords: Antarctica, Biogeochemistry, McMurdo dry valleys, Microbial ecology, Productivity-diversity theory
Publication Number: 10595323
ISBN: 9781369750850
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