Analysis of soil bacterial and fungal biomass and determination of soil microbial communities in four different landscapes on the SU campus
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work23 pages
SubjectsSoil -- Microbial communities
Salisbury University's Arboretum
Though they are small, microbial communities in the soil play a large role in global climate change through carbon sequestration. Prior research has indicated that atmospheric changes in carbon dioxide concentrations directly impact soil microbial communities. The microbial responses, however, can be positive or negative, and so far, the magnitude and direction of these responses is uncertain (Castro et al., 2010). My goal is to sample the four different landscapes located around Salisbury University’s campus: lawn, savannah, garden, and forest. I will analyze their contents by means of phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, which determines the bacterial and fungal biomass, and also measure the microbial activity via soil enzymes like β-glucosidase, an enzyme that degrades cellulose. With this information, it will be possible to see the bacterial and fungal composition of the soils and also how active the microbes are, paving the way to determining what soils around the campus are more likely to sequester carbon and which are more likely to emit carbon. This study is part of a larger project that aims to discover the role of Salisbury University’s Arboretum in carbon sequestration and ultimately its role in global climate change.