Soil: Exploring Tiny Things

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Soil: Exploring Tiny Things

Monday, 19 February, 2018 - 15:00 to 17:30
ASCUS Lab, Summerhall Place
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Are you curious about the invisible life in soil? Want to understand more about soil’s complex composition and how this broad diversity of microorganisms depend on a fine balance of organic matter, mineral particles, air and water? Soil is crucial to almost every aspect of life on land and this dirt beneath our feet is also an exceptionally high source of biodiversity: some estimates suggest that at least one quarter of all species live in or on the soil. Soil hosts microorganisms such as bacteria, archaea, actinomycetes, fungi, algae, and protozoa, living and fighting with each other in an endless microbial war while also relying on particular nutrients (e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur). Levels of microorganisms in soil affect soil structure and fertility. Up to 10 billion microbial cells and 30,000 species might inhabit each gram of soil, this wide variety of microorganisms in soil help to maintain it’s balance.

Do you want to see the difference between bacteria and microscopic fungi? Come along to ASCUS Lab where we can show you how to study and get creative with soil microorganisms. You will see the differences in the communities of soil microorganisms from various environments, including from a field to the bottom of your shoes.