University of Kansas Field Station

Temperature Sensitivity of Substrate Decomposition from Enzymes to Microbial Communities

Date August 2010 - present
Contact Sharon Billings
Location Northeast Kansas


This project explores how the stoichiometry of available resources, activation energies of substrate decay, and adaptive microbial physiology influence the temperature responses of substrate decay. We also are exploring how pH and temperature, and exo-enzyme age and temperature, interact to drive substrate decay rates and associated flows of liberated C and N.  This avenue of research will help us understand the temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition, and ultimately will be useful for predicting CO2 release from soils in a warmer world. We have developed a theoretical framework based on these ideas, useful for understanding how microbial allocation of substrate-derived resources responds to multiple substrate landscapes.

This material is based upon the work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0950095.


Sharon Billings