Here are some questions that have arisen in our discussions:
- Freshwater invertebrate communities are well developed as indicators of the "health" of stream ecosystems. Why are there not comparable biotic indicator systems for soils?
- Does soil microbial community structure matter to biogeochemical cycling at the ecosystem scale?
- When enviromental conditions become unfavourable, bacteria can go into a sporulation phase to achieve dormancy. What are the internal and external controls on this process for soil bacteria?
- Can all soil bacterial species achieve dormancy?
- What is the relationship between rate of change in an environmental stress factor, and the proportion of the bacterial community that achieve dormancy?
- Is spore production an analagous method by which fungi achieve dormancy?
- Under conditions of carbon limitation in soil microbes, what determines the balance between allocation to exoenzyme production and allocation to maintenance respiration?
- What is the adaptive significance of "overflow metabolism" in soil microbes?
- Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) uptake by plants (either directly or via mycorrhizae) seems to be more common in mid-high latitude environments than in the tropics. Is part of the reason for this that DON pools are relatively large in these regions?
- Do bacterial populations reach the 'stationary growth phase' in nature?
Created 8th February 2006 by P. Grogan
Last Updated: 30th March 2006