Ecological resilience of soil microbial communities

Jurburg, S., 2017, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 234 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

Copy link to clipboard


  • Stephanie Jurburg
The soil microbial system is largely responsible for the maintenance of terrestrial nutrient cycles. The soil microbiome is among the most diverse and dynamic systems on the planet, and the provision of these services is largely dependent on the capacity of microbial communities to function as a unit. Predicted changes to global climate and increasing anthropogenic pressures pose a potential threat to microbial communities, as changes in precipitation patterns and temperature beyond the community’s adaptive range may change survival, dominance, and interaction patterns among community members, potentially affecting the community’s ability to provide ecosystem services and recover from future disturbances. This may be exacerbated if the soils have been previously disturbed by, for example intensive land use.
This thesis aims to discover whether resilience can be lost from the soil microbial system by multiple disturbances, and provide mechanistic insights as to the processes behind this phenomenon, as well as its implications for the maintenance of terrestrial ecosystem services in a changing environment. Through two comprehensive microcosm and mesocosm experiments, I study the effect of disturbance on the niche structure of microbial communities. This thesis targets the following questions:

Does the soil microbiota exhibit a sequential, predictable recovery, similar to secondary succession in macro-ecology?
Are successional patterns affected by the soil’s legacy?
Does intensive agriculture result in soils with “disturbed” legacies?
Are soils exposed to intensive agriculture more vulnerable to changes in precipitation patterns?
Is the integrity of the nitrogen cycling more vulnerable in disturbed soils?
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date23-Jan-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9470-1
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9469-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017

View graph of relations

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 39636631