Microbial drivers of soil health in bioenergy crops

What ecoystem services are provided by microbes for our soils?

Using a data-driven and integrated modeling framework, we collaborate with researchers who will develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels. Soils represent the most challenging ecosystem for microbial studies because of its extraordinary high diversity and structural complexity. Similar to their role in our gut systems, microbial communities drive nutrient cycling in the soil. In particular, our area of emphasis will be to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the plant, soil, microbe, and climate interactions that underlie the productivity and ecosystem services of different feedstocks.


Emily Heaton, ISU Andrew Vanloocke, ISU


This project is funded by the DOE and is part of the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation.