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Elevated temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations- effects on selected microbial activities


By sheebzs - Posted on 08 December 2009

Here is the Abstract from this paper:
Human activities have increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Research has demonstrated this increased concentration will affect our climate
by causing increases in temperature and altered weather patterns. The effects of climate change have been studied, including effects on some ecosystems throughout the world. There are studies that report changes in the soil due to climate change, but many did not extend their research to the microorganisms that inhabit soils. In our analysis of soil microorganisms that may be affected by climate change, two
microbial outcomes emerged as having particular ecological and societal importance. Perturbations in the soil environment could lead to community shifts and altered metabolic activity in microorganisms involved in soil nutrient cycling, and to increasing or decreasing survival and virulence of soil-mediated pathogenic microorganisms. Alterations in CO2 concentrations and temperature may alter soil respiration, soil carbon dynamics, and microbial community structure. Microbial-mediated processes that play an important role in the nitrogen cycle may also be influenced as a result of climate change. The potential for an increase in frequency of horizontal gene transfer due to changing climatic factors is of concern due to possible evolutionary changes in soil-borne pathogen populations, including the spread of virulence factors and genes that aid in environmental survival. We suggest that soil microbial communities in temperate agricultural systems continue to be researched for alterations to community structure, specifically the increase or decrease of soil activity and respiration, nitrification and denitrification, pathogen survival and alterations to horizontal gene transfer.

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