CORDIS
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An interdisciplinary approach to determine biodiversity and ecosystem function relationships

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 23826

  • Start date

    9 January 2006

  • End date

    8 January 2008

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN

United Kingdom

Objective

A major challenge in ecological research is to understand the relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function. Microorganisms are essential for the degradation of organic substances, of both natural and anthropogenic origin. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding who is degrading what and regarding the physiology of species and functional groups in natural environments.

The aim of this project is to use bacterial communities degrading the pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP) as a mode l system to link the composition and species richness of the degrader community to substrate availability and degradation rates. Soil microcosms amended with 13C-labelled PCP will be established with natural and constructed bacterial communities.

Stable isotope probing and other novel molecular techniques will be combined with recent theoretical approaches to analyse bacterial community structure and diversity in relation to PCP degradation kinetics. This will yield information about the in situ physiology of PCP-degrading bacterial populations that is of great commercial value with regard to developing green solutions to pollution problems.

Moreover, the project makes it possible to test general ecological theory on relationships between diversity and resource availability and between diversity within a functional group and ecosystem functions and services. An important aspect of the project is its interdisciplinary nature, working at the interfaces between several areas of science and utilizing a range of concepts and techniques from different disciplines including soil science, theoretical ecology, molecular ecology and bioremediation.

The major training objectives are to acquire expertise in new techniques; establish and develop project management and supervisory skills; improve writing, presentation and teaching skills; establish a scientific network of researchers and commercial partners and to develop inter- and multidisciplinary skills.

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Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN

Address

Kings College
Aberdeen

United Kingdom

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 23826

  • Start date

    9 January 2006

  • End date

    8 January 2008

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN

United Kingdom