Fungal functional diversity: exploring patterns and processes associated with soil fungal assemblages along an altitudinal gradient in the Chihuahuan Desert

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Title: Fungal functional diversity: exploring patterns and processes associated with soil fungal assemblages along an altitudinal gradient in the Chihuahuan Desert
Author: Sobek, Edward Andrew
Abstract: Soil fungi are intimately associated with the maintenance and stability of terrestrial ecosystems through their involvement in the decomposition process . During decomposition , organic carbon is mineralized to CO2 and bound nutrients are returned to the labile soil nutrient pool for subsequent growth of plants and soil microbes . To better understand the relationship between soil fungal diversity , and factors influencing their functional ability in the decomposition of soil organic matter , this dissertation examined , (1 ) development of methods to determine soil fungal functional diversity , (2 ) seasonal trends in fungal function al diversity , and (3 ) the relation between soil fungal functional abilities and a suite of environmental variables that are important in ecosystem nutrient cycles . The context of this research endeavor focused on assemblages of soil fungi associated with an environmental gradient in the Chihuahuan Desert , specifically , the Pine Canyon Watershed in Big Bend National Park . The Pine Canyon Watershed contains five distinct vegetation zones along an altitudinal gradient and contains the majority of vegetation types that are found in the Chihuahuan Desert . Soil samples were collected within each of these zones over a three -year period . Sampling coincided with seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation . Functional diversity was determined for fungal assemblages from each vegetation zone , using the Soil FungiLog procedure developed from this research .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16270
Date: 2002-05

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Fungal functional diversity: exploring patterns and processes associated with soil fungal assemblages along an altitudinal gradient in the Chihuahuan Desert. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16270 .

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