Why sequence topsoil metagenomics in arid lands?
Biological Soil Crusts (BSC) are globally relevant complex topsoil microbial communities and locally important agents of carbon cycling in arid lands. Because arid lands make a sizeable proportion of all continents, the global standing carbon stock in BSCs probably exceeds 1014 g C, making soil crusts arguably the most extensive biosynthetic biofilm on the planet. Data from this study coupled with ecosystem-level metadata, will provide a robust predictive understanding of BSCs useful for the sustainable management of arid lands in the face of global climate change.
Principal Investigators: Cheryl Kerfeld, DOE JGI
Program: CSP 2011