Defoliation and altered precipitation effects on soil microbial communities in the Mattheis Research Ranch

Dr. Scott Chang | Professor, Department of Renewable Resources
Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences
University of Alberta

The impact of grazing and irrigation on soil microbial communities is poorly understood even though microbes play a significant role in affecting ecosystem biogeochemistry, greenhouse gas emissions and rangeland health. Dr. Chang is studying changes in rangeland soil microbial communities under different simulated grazing and irrigation treatments, to help us understand the underlying mechanisms of grazing and/or irrigation effects on soil microorganisms. The bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities as well as other biological and physicochemical properties of soils are being studied within long-term study plots at the Mattheis Research Ranch. This research will provide insight into predicting soil microbial feedbacks to land use and climate changes and provide input to policy makers on how to improve land use management practices for enhancing below-ground diversity.