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Community / Land projects / The resilience and sustainability of soil microbial functions to climate change induced-drought in Ethiopia

The resilience and sustainability of soil microbial functions to climate change induced-drought in Ethiopia

€0

12/16 - 12/20

Completed

This project is part of

General

Climate change will cause extreme fluctuations in precipitation and temperatures generating intense drought and rainfall events. This will affect the functioning of most ecosystems, but the most severely affected include the world’s poorest and food security challenged nations, including Ethiopia. Microorganisms control decomposition of organic matter (OM), and dominate the terrestrial contribution to the global carbon (C) cycle. Water availability is a decisive regulator of microbial processes, but they also depend on C-availability, creating a strong feedback with plants. We will investigate how microbial processes are influenced by changes in water availability across a gradient from cool moist to hot arid Ecosystems in Ethiopia. We will evaluate the effect of different land-uses and field experimental drought on the resilience of microbial functions. Insights will be included in ecosystem models, and used to guide land-use policy in Ethiopia. The aims are: 1. Defining the microbial moisture dependence, and the resilience of the microbial functions to rewetting a soil. 2. Determining both long-term (gradient across Ethiopia) and short-term (within site field-experiments) legacy effects of drought and dry-wet cycles on 1. 3. Disentangling the relative influence of the soil microbial community and land-use on 1. 4. Distinguishing how land-use, restoration of degraded soils, and plant material additions can affect the microbial resilience to drought and variable moisture.