Growing crops as bioenergy feedstocks requires researchers to focus on soil management and better understand the soil carbon cycle. However, the data on soil microbiology is still limited, preventing researchers from incorporating this information into biogeochemical models. To this end, the project focuses on the microbial interactions in agricultural soils, with the goal of identifying key organisms and functions involved. Samples for study are sourced from a large-scale, comparative cropping systems study in Iowa that is being conducted to consider interests including: possible biomass feedstock systems; ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase underground carbon storage; and, methods for improving soil quality. These data from the ongoing cropping systems study are expected to help the researchers identify and characterize the microbial interactions in the field. Overall, the data generated from this CSP project is expected to apply to projects ranging from biofuel production to managing systems to enhance biosequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Proposer’s Name: Kirsten Hofmockel