Olivia Yang, a high school student from Canyon Crest Academy, has been working in our lab for more than six months. She collected PLFA dataset from the NEON network and analyzed the microbial community structure and its edaphic controls across U.S. The study found that large spatial heterogeneities in microbial community structure and individual microbial functional group. Spatial biogeographic patterns are detected for bacteria, fungi, and total microbial group, but no clear spatial patterns for cyanobacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The biogeographic patterns show lower abundance and microbial diversity in the middle-latitude and relatively higher in low and high latitude; further analysis with mixed generalized linear regression and structural equation model show that edaphic factors, rather than meteorological factors, are the predominant control. The results have drafted into an abstract submitted to the ESA annual meeting that will be held in Salt Lake City in August 2020.

The compiled results will be further combined with the results from the CLM-Microbe model to better understand the underlying mechanisms governing the biogeographic patterns of microbial properties.