Isabele Ross

Green Infrastructure Impacts on Carbon Cycling: Evaluating Changes in Soil Microbial Composition and Function

Presented by Isabel Ross, Cienega High School, Vail, Arizona

Green Infrastructure (GI) redirects water into the soil, affecting soil microbial diversity, decomposition, and stabilization of carbon. Soil microbes drive decomposition and carbon stabilization, making them important for carbon cycling. Decomposition by soil microbes releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the soil and atmosphere which is important for climate change. This project focuses on how GI systems change soil microbial community composition and function to understand how GI affects the carbon cycle. We used a phylogenetic gene marker and FAPROTAX to identify bacteria taxa and function. We observed changes in microbial composition and key functions with rainwater harvesting techniques. Although decomposition also creates more nutrients for carbon-absorbing plants, increased decomposition observed in this study could lead to additional sources of greenhouse gases.