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Monday, October 15, 2018
Kansas State University MAPS researchers receive award from Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the Department of Energy
Dr. Jesse Nippert and Dr. Lydia Zeglin
The Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the Department of Energy has awarded nearly $1 million dollars to two Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant and Soil Systems across Kansas (MAPS) researchers from Kansas State University (KSU). Dr. Jesse Nippert, associate professor of biology at KSU and part of the MAPS plant systems focus team, and Dr. Lydia Zeglin, assistant professor of biology at KSU and part of the MAPS acquatic systems focus team, plan to combine observational, experimental and modeling approaches in an effort to enhance the predictability of ecosystem consequences related to shrub encroachment and drought in the Great Plains region. The title of their project is DE-SC001109037: Using root and soil traits to forecast woody encroachment dynamics in mesic grassland.They will also be working with collaborators Kate McCulloh, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Kevin Wilcox, assistant professor at the University of Wyoming. The team will conduct experiments and collect their data at the Konza Biological Field Station. They will use root and soil traits, taken at various soil depths, which contain microbes, water and a large amount of carbon to forecast the plant encroachment dynamics associated with grasslands that receive moderate amounts of precipitation. The data collected and the results from this project “will define the depth-resolved feedbacks of drought and dominant vegetation on below ground root architecture, soil microbial carbon cycling, and ecosystem carbon balance.”