The global terrestrial carbon reservoir is primarily distributed among grasslands, forests and cultivated farms. While the majority of fixed carbon is stored in vegetation in forests, most fixed carbon in grasslands is stored in soil. Thus, it is critical to understand the carbon cycling in grassland soil. One challenge climate researchers face is making accurate predictions the impact of climate change on the soil carbon cycle because very little is known about soil biology. The researchers plan to apply metagenomics and transcriptomics to samples collected from an ongoing, long-term climate (rainfall) manipulation experiment carried out on a grassland meadow in the UC Berkeley Angelo Coastal Reserve in northern California. In targeting complex natural microbial communities, the researchers expect that these methods have largely unrealized potential to provide new insight into soil microbiology and microbial processes.
Proposer’s Name: Jill Banfield