RESEARCH

Microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes

Microorganisms have produced dramatic shifts in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, and they continue to drive significant exchange of trace gases and aerosols between the land, oceans, and atmosphere. Many microbe-mediated processes have a leading-order impact on climate variability, are themselves susceptible to climate change (potential for feedbacks), and are poorly understood (e.g., CH4, N2O, biological particles). In terrestrial ecosystems, soil microorganisms provide benefits to society (ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling), which depend strongly on land use (urban, rural, agricultural, natural) and land surface type. The Meredith lab focuses on improving the process-based understanding of the environmental and biological drivers of microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes using an interdisciplinary set of laboratory and observational methods.  We utilize the following study systems:

  • Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory (multi-tracer studies of the metabolisms supporting microbial communities pioneering a rapidly weathering model landscape system)
  • Biosphere 2 Tropical Rainforest (testing gene-to-ecosystem scaling in a controllable forest)
  • Tropical Rainforests of the Brazilian Amazon (CH4 cycling and land use change)
  • Backyard Rainwater Harvesting (shifts in soil microbial diversity and function in response to green infrastructure in the Sonoran desert)