Terrestrial ecosystems worldwide are receiving elevated inputs of nitrogen and recent studies suggest that the additional nitrogen is impacting soil carbon sequestration rates. It has been speculated that nitrogen additions alter the microbial processing of organic carbon pools, inhibiting decomposition of certain pools and accelerating soil carbon sequestration. This project focuses on shotgun metagenomic sequencing of soil samples collected from replicated nitrogen-addition experiments conducted at 10 grassland sites of the Nutrient Network (NutNet) Global Research Cooperative located across the United States. The shotgun metagenomic sequencing proposed will help improve the mechanistic understanding of how the functioning of soil microbial communities is impacted by soil nitrogen additions. Additionally, the proposed sequencing effort will allow researchers to examine how experimental additions of nitrogen to grassland ecosystems affect soil metagenomes and how these effects vary across a range of sites that are distinct with respect to soil type, plant community composition, and climate.
Principal Investigator: Noah Fierer