Oct 10, 2016 2:22 PM

UNH scientists receive $1.5 million to investigate human impact on soil microorganisms


DURHAM— University of New Hampshire scientists received $1.5 million in federal grants as part of an effort to better understand the physiology and genetics of soil microorganisms, how human activity is altering them and the implications for the global climate.

The researchers, Serita Frey and Stuart Grandy, have received grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to understand the genes that underlie how soil microorganisms use carbon.

Globally surface soils have lost 25 to 50 percent of their carbon over the last 100 to 125 years during the period of intensive cultivation globally.

According to Frey, more effective soil management could reverse some of this loss by altering microbial processes to restore some of this soil carbon.

Incorporating these microbial processes into models allows scientists to evaluate the soil management practices that can restore soil carbon globally, said Grandy, associate professor of natural resources.

This material is based upon work supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award numbers 1003421 and 1007001 and the state of New Hampshire.

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