Ecosystem Service Provision

Soil microorganisms have a vital role as ‘ecosystem service providers’. They are responsible for soil formation, soil aggregate properties, the breakdown of organic matter and the cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients as well as they cycling and transformation of both essential and non-essential metals. Alterations to the nitrogen cycle in particular can directly affect the health and productivity of New Zealand’s soils by causing loss of soil nutrients, soil acidification, and reducing biodiversity. Using our extensive library of soil DNA, the abundance of genes involved in the nitrogen cycle (e.g., chiA, chitinase (decomposition, ammonification); nifH, nitrogenase reductase; amoA, ammonia oxidation; nirK, nitrite reductase; narG, nitrate reductase; nosZ, nitrous oxide reductase) can be quantified and relations to soil management strategies further interrogated.

The Nitrogen Cycle

The Nitrogen Cycle

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