Human activity affecting microbes in soil

September 23, 2015

New research from an Iowa State University ecologist shows that agricultural inputs such as nitrogen and phosphorous alter soil microbial communities, which may have unintended environmental consequences.

Adding nitrogen and phosphorous, commonly used as fertilizers, to the soil beneath grasslands shifts the natural communities of fungi, bacteria and microscopic organisms called archaea that live in the soil, said Kirsten Hofmockel, an associate professor in the ISU Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology.

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