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Role of Microbial Ecology 
  in Global Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling: Mark P. Waldrop

Project Title: Role of Microbial Ecology in Global Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling
Mendenhall Fellow: Mark P. Waldrop, (650) 329-5005,
Duty Station: Menlo Park, CA
Start Date: January 5, 2005
Education: Ph.D. (Soil Science), University of California at Berkeley, 2002
Research Advisors: Jennifer Harden, (650) 329-4949,; Laurence Miller, (650) 329-4475,; Carol Kendall, (650) 329-4576,
  Mark P. Waldrop

Project Description: Boreal forest ecosystems are being impacted by a variety of factors that affect ecosystem structure and function. Climate change is a major driving force behind changes in fire regimes, plant community distributions, potential terrestrialization, and permafrost melt. Although the significance of these different phenomenon for ecosystem biogeochemical cycling are known, or are at least being examined at a broad scale, the mechanisms that drive ecosystem response to them are not well understood. Understanding ecosystem biogeochemical response to global climate change requires an explicit consideration of the linkages between the aboveground and belowground (e.g. fungal and bacterial) biotic communities. This is because climate change affects the composition and function of microbial communities indirectly through alterations in disturbance regimes, plant community composition, hydrology, and other factors. Alterations in the composition and function of soil microbial communities, in turn, affect the biogeochemical cycling of elements, resulting in positive and negative feedbacks to aboveground biota and trace gas fluxes. My research is particularly focused on understanding the potential of microbial communities to access recalcitrant permafrost carbon and black carbon in relation to landscapes, succession, and global change.

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Last modified: 16:08:33 Thu 13 Dec 2012