Marine and freshwater microbial communities and activities vary over the course of the day. In contrast, researchers know little about whether these same patterns exist on land. The team aims to profile the activity of surface soil microbes (those on dead leaf litter) of an arid ecosystem over the course of three days. The leaf litter is subject to daily fluctuations in moisture, going up during the night from fog and dew, and temperature and UV stress, which are higher during the day. The results will address whether daily cycles in abiotic conditions might be important for carbon cycling and biogeochemistry in arid ecosystems and are directly relevant to both the carbon cycle and biogeochemistry missions of the DOE.
Proposer: Jennifer Martiny, University of California, Irvine
Proposal: Investigation of diel variation in microbial decomposition processes