Rima A. Upchurch

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Cellulose is the major component of plant biomass, and microbial cellulose utilization is a key step in the decomposition of plant detritus. Despite this, little is known about the diversity of cellulolytic microbial communities in soil. Fungi are well known for their cellulolytic activity and mediate key functions during the decomposition of plant detritus(More)
Bacteria and fungi drive the cycling of plant litter in forests, but little is known about their role in tropical rain forest nutrient cycling, despite the high rates of litter decay observed in these ecosystems. However, litter decay rates are not uniform across tropical rain forests. For example, decomposition can differ dramatically over small spatial(More)
It is uncertain whether the same ecological forces that structure plant and animal communities also shape microbial communities, especially those residing in soil. We sought to uncover the relative importance of present-day environmental characteristics, climatic variation, and historical contingencies in shaping soil actinobacterial communities in a(More)
A simple and rapid procedure for efficiently isolating fungi DNA suitable for use as a template for PCR amplification and other molecular assays is described. The main advantages of the method are: (1) the mycelium is directly recovered from Petri-dish cultures; (2) the technique is rapid and relatively easy to perform , and (3) it allows for processing of(More)
Litter decomposition is an enzymatically-complex process that is mediated by a diverse assemblage of saprophytic microorganisms. It is a globally important biogeochemical process that can be suppressed by anthropogenic N deposition. In a northern hardwood forest ecosystem located in Michigan, USA, 20 years of experimentally increased atmospheric N(More)
Foraging intensity of large herbivores may exert an indirect top-down ecological force on soil microbial communities via changes in plant litter inputs. We investigated the responses of the soil microbial community to elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range occupancy across a long-term foraging exclusion experiment in the sagebrush steppe of the North American(More)
Predicting the impact of environmental change on soil microbial functions requires an understanding of how environmental factors shape microbial composition. Here, we investigated the influence of environmental factors on bacterial and fungal communities across an expanse of northern hardwood forest in Michigan, USA, which spans a 500-km regional climate(More)
Fossil fuel combustion and fertilizer use has increased the amount of biologically available N entering terrestrial ecosystems. Nonetheless, our understanding of how anthropogenic N may alter the physiological mechanisms by which soil microorganisms cycle N in soil is still developing. Here, we applied shotgun metagenomics to a replicated long-term field(More)
The Tipula abdominalis larval hindgut microbial community presumably facilitates digestion of the lignocellulosic diet. The microbial community was investigated through characterization of bacterial isolates and analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. This initial study revealed novel bacteria and provides a framework for future studies of this symbiosis.
Although we understand the ecological processes eliciting changes in plant community composition during secondary succession, we do not understand whether co-occurring changes in plant detritus shape saprotrophic microbial communities in soil. In this study, we investigated soil microbial composition and function across an old-field chronosequence ranging(More)