Endemic to the Namib Desert, Fairy Circles (FCs) are vegetation-free circular patterns surrounded and delineated by grass species. Since first reported the 1970's, many theories have been proposed to explain their appearance, but none provide a fully satisfactory explanation of their origin(s) and/or causative agent(s). In this study, we have evaluated an… (More)
Sorghum is the second most cultivated crop in Africa and is a staple food source in many African communities. Exploiting the associated plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) has potential as an agricultural biotechnology strategy to enhance sorghum growth, yield and nutritional properties. Therefore this study aimed to evaluate factors that shape bacterial… (More)
The sand dunes and inter-dune zones of the hyper-arid central Namib Desert represent heterogeneous soil habitats. As little is known about their indigenous edaphic bacterial communities, we aimed to evaluate their diversity and factors of assembly and hypothesized that soil physicochemistry gradients would strongly shape dune/interdune communities. We… (More)
Agri effluents such as winery or olive mill wastewaters are characterized by high phenolic concentrations. These compounds are highly toxic and generally refractory to biodegradation. Biological sand filters (BSFs) represent inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and sustainable wastewater treatment systems which rely vastly on microbial catabolic… (More)
Micro-organisms inhabiting animal guts benefit from a protected and nutrient-rich environment while assisting the host with digestion and nutrition. In this study we compare, for the first time, the bacterial and fungal gut communities of two species of the small desert dung beetle genus Pachysoma feeding on different diets: the detritivorous P. endroedyi… (More)
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161118.].
The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using… (More)
Despite the dominance of microorganisms in arid soils, the structures and functional dynamics of microbial communities in hot deserts remain largely unresolved. The effects of wetting event frequency and intensity on Namib Desert microbial communities from two soils with different water-regime histories were tested over 36 days. A total of 168 soil… (More)