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dc.contributor.advisorAbram, Florence
dc.contributor.authorThorn, Camilla
dc.description.abstractSoils and the vital ecosystem services performed by their indigenous microbiota are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic stresses and climate change. In an effort to understand how the provision of soil ecosystem services will evolve with such pressures, significant research has been undertaken into the stability of microbial community functioning and composition, in terms of resistance and resilience. The overall aim of this thesis was to contribute to such knowledge through investigation of the responses of soil microbial communities subjected to a variety of perturbations relevant in the context of agriculture and climate change. These include lime addition, slurry application and flooding, which were chosen to include representative disturbances commonly encountered by agrarian soil ecosystems. As metaproteomics represents a valuable tool for linking microbial phylogeny and function, the first step was to develop a method allowing for the co-extraction of DNA, RNA and proteins from soil samples. We then employed culture-independent techniques to investigate the microbial community composition in the face of the three perturbations. In addition, we assessed the functioning of the microbial communities by assessing rates of litter decomposition, potential nitrification and potential denitrification. While the lime product did not perform as hoped in terms of pH alteration, microbial communities responded strongly to the development of the barley plants with which they were associated. Slurry induced significant functional and compositional alterations in the microbial assemblage; while some functions were transiently affected, others remained altered 140 days post-application. While the soil microbiome was sensitive to flooding, it appeared remarkably resilient in terms of functioning. When the flooding perturbation was compounded by a preceding slurry application, improvements in resistance were seen in functional assays. In closing, a co-extraction method was developed which is easily employed for a number of sample types including soil. Additionally, we addressed certain hypotheses regarding microbial community stability while contributing to advancing knowledge in the field.en_IE
dc.publisherNUI Galway
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
dc.subjectMicrobial community stabilityen_IE
dc.subjectSystems biologyen_IE
dc.subjectAgricultural soil microbiomeen_IE
dc.subjectNatural sciencesen_IE
dc.titleInvestigations into soil microbiome stability in the face of agriculture and climate change related perturbationsen_IE
dc.local.noteSoils and the microbes which reside therein are vitally important for crop productivity and global cycling of elements. The aim of this work was to investigate the stability of soil microbial communities in the face of a number of stresses associated with our burgeoning population and the ever increasing need to improve food yieldsen_IE

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland