Hector F. Castro

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Researchers agree that climate change factors such as rising atmospheric [CO2] and warming will likely interact to modify ecosystem properties and processes. However, the response of the microbial communities that regulate ecosystem processes is less predictable. We measured the direct and interactive effects of climatic change on soil fungal and bacterial(More)
The root-rhizosphere interface of Populus is the nexus of a variety of associations between bacteria, fungi, and the host plant and an ideal model for studying interactions between plants and microorganisms. However, such studies have generally been confined to greenhouse and plantation systems. Here we analyze microbial communities from the root endophytic(More)
As a result of agricultural activities in regions adjacent to the northern boundary of the Florida Everglades, a nutrient gradient developed that resulted in physicochemical and ecological changes from the original system. Sulfate input from agricultural runoff and groundwater is present in soils of the Northern Everglades, and sulfate-reducing prokaryotes(More)
Root carbon (C) inputs may regulate decomposition rates in soil, and in this study we ask: how do labile C inputs regulate decomposition of plant residues, and soil microbial communities? In a 14 d laboratory incubation, we added C compounds often found in root exudates in seven different concentrations (0, 0.7, 1.4, 3.6, 7.2, 14.4 and 21.7 mg C g(-1) soil)(More)
Agricultural activities have produced well-documented changes in the Florida Everglades, including establishment of a gradient in phosphorus concentrations in Water Conservation Area 2A (WCA-2A) of the northern Everglades. An effect of increased phosphorus concentrations is increased methanogenesis in the eutrophic regions compared to the oligotrophic(More)
Heat resistance of Lactobacillus bulgaricus in skimmed milk at 62 degrees, 64 degrees, 65 degrees and 66 degrees C was studied. The response to increasing temperatures in this range was not linear, with temperatures at 65 degrees C and above giving a lower survival rate than would be predicted from experiments at lower temperatures. To identify sites of(More)
Bacterial and fungal communities associated with plant roots are central to the host health, survival and growth. However, a robust understanding of the root-microbiome and the factors that drive host associated microbial community structure have remained elusive, especially in mature perennial plants from natural settings. Here, we investigated(More)
Although the influence of phosphorus loading on the Everglades ecosystem has received a great deal of attention, most research has targeted macro indicators, such as those based on vegetation or fauna, or chemical and physical parameters involved in biogeochemical cycles. Fewer studies have addressed the role of microorganisms, and these have mainly(More)
The removal of plants and soil to bedrock to eradicate exotic invasive plants within the Hole-in-the-Donut (HID) region, part of the Everglades National Park (Florida), presented a unique opportunity to study the redevelopment of soil and the associated microbial communities in the context of short-term primary succession and ecosystem restoration. The goal(More)
The Caspian Sea is heavily polluted due to industrial and agricultural effluents as well as extraction of oil and gas reserves. Microbial communities can influence the fate of contaminants and nutrients. However, insight into the microbial ecology of the Caspian Sea significantly lags behind other marine systems. Here we describe microbial biomass,(More)