Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NEIKER is studying the impact of climate change on the soil ecosystem

28.11.2014

The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development NEIKER-Tecnalia has had a Microbial Observatory in the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Nature Reserve (Huesca Pyrenees) since 2011.

Its purpose is to evaluate the impact of climate change on the ecosystems of the soil by monitoring its microbial properties over time. The research areas are located at altitudes of between 1,500 and 2,600 metres, which provides a broad range of different climate conditions and makes it possible to observe how the altitude affects the properties of the soil and the micro-organisms living in it.

Preliminary results indicate that microbial properties are highly dependent on the physical and chemical properties of the soil on a small scale and on the environmental conditions existing at the moment when the samples are gathered.

To conduct this research, NEIKER-Tecnalia is using the most advanced techniques in the matter of molecular biology, which have revolutionised microbial ecology. Specifically, massive sequencing analyses are being carried out right now; they allow a large number of genes to be sequenced and identified within a short space of time. The genetic sequencing of the subterranean biosphere is seeking to gain a better understanding of the structure and function of the microbial communities across the altitude gradient.

NEIKER-Tecnalia’s Microbial Observatory will contribute towards improving the current understanding of the effects of climate change on soil microbial communities and associated ecological processes. The alpine area where it is located is particularly suitable for a climate change observatory.

Firstly, it is a remote spot relatively isolated from direct anthropogenic impacts, which means that global effects like climate change can be clearly perceived without the interference of more local environmental factors. Secondly, the altitude gradients that exist in the mountains in turn create clearly marked climate gradients within short distances; in other words, different climate conditions can be found at different altitudes.

Micro-organisms adapt more quickly than plants and macro-organisms

Micro-organisms adapt more quickly to changes than plants or other macro-organisms, which means they are ideal bioindicators of the impact of sources of environmental stress on the functioning of ecosystems.

It is very important to have a record of the alterations gradually occurring in the soil ecosystem as a result of climate change to be able to more accurately predict what future scenarios are going to be in store. It is important to stress that the soil is our most important resource; it is the basis of the terrestrial ecosystem and 95% of our food comes directly or indirectly from it.

The role of micro-organisms in relation to the functioning of the soil ecosystem is fundamental. The soil, which has been traditionally regarded as an inanimate item made up of minerals and chemical substances, contains a myriad of micro-organisms that are responsible for many of its vital functions and, consequently, its health. These functions include the decomposition and recycling of nutrients from dead plant and animal tissue, nitrogen fixing, the maintaining of soil structure and the elimination of contaminants.

It can be predicted that, in the long term, climate change will cause the biota of mountain soil to migrate towards higher altitudes in the quest for the optimum bioclimatic environment. The problem is that this migration has a limit, which is the summit of the mountain, beyond which no migration or escape is possible.


http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=5336&hizk=I#.VHcWTWfOXTo

Garazi Andonegi | AlphaGalileo

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>