Some experts estimate that a single mature oak tree produces between 200,000 and 1 million leaves each year—all of which fall from the tree in the autumn. Although “litter” from decaying leaves is sometimes viewed as a problem in urban and suburban settings, fallen leaves play a critical role in the natural world. Decomposing leaves… Read more
Ecological research focuses on understanding how population-level dynamics—such as the growth rate of a particular population of microbes—contribute to ecosystem-level processes. Ecosystem scientists researching climate change often study the role of microbes in the carbon cycle, for example, so knowing how quickly they grow is a fundamental metric to reaching that understanding.
Until now, however, scientists have not had the ability to measure growth rates of individual microbial populations… Read more
The Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and biosphere are huge reservoirs of carbon, and all play a critical role in global carbon cycling. Soil is one of the largest carbon pools on the planet, storing more carbon than the atmosphere and biosphere combined, yet scientists aren’t sure what regulates carbon persistence—the amount of carbon that remains in the soil.
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)… Read more
A new paper published in PLOS Pathogens by a team of researchers comprised of Bruce Hungate and Ben Koch from Northern Arizona University; Lance Price from George Washington University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute; and Gregg Davis and Cindy Liu from George Washington University outlines the critical need for further research into the nature of colonizing opportunistic pathogens, or COPs.
Since the National Institutes… Read more