Generated on: 04-01-18 02:01:45

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private: 9
submitted to EBI: 108
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Space, time and change: Investigations of soil bacterial diversity and its drivers in the Mongolian steppe

How the microbial ecology of the Mongolian Steppe shifts with climate change is a central question under investigation in the five-year PIRE Mongolia Project (Partnerships in International Research and Education, mongolia.bio.upenn.edu). Through this project, plant ecologists, biogeochemists, soil scientists, and climate modelers, are empirically documenting the effects of climate and land-use change on this arid ecosystem. Though many global change studies strive to link ecosystem shifts to microbial mechanisms, few have integrated edaphic, floristic and climatic data with microbial community data produced by Next-Generation Sequencing techniques, as is being done in the PIRE Mongolia Project. Moreover, the experimental design is comparable to numerous other climate change studies, allowing for the production of globally relevant data. Presently, 16S pyrosequencing data is being analyzed from the soil microbial community of this well replicated, multi-factorial experiment, which includes warming, watering, grazing and topography treatments. The average annual temperature at the Lake Hvsgl Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site has increased by 1.7C since 1963, and some of the greatest projected increases in temperature are associated with northern Mongolia. Hence, this site is therefore ideally suited for studying ecological shifts driven by climate change. One of the initial hypotheses in this moisture-limited system is that microbial diversity will decrease with warming and increase with watering. In order to unravel the microbial community composition of the system, 16S data will be integrated with spatial and temporal data that includes information on carbon and nitrogen fluxes, changes in plant phenology and shifts in climate.

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