Defense Date

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Rima Franklin

Abstract

Differences in microbial function via extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) were investigated to determine the potential effects of hydrology and plant-soil-microbe interactions in a young non-tidal freshwater riparian wetland. To study these relationships, three plots were established along a moisture gradient (Wet, Intermediate, Dry) within VCU Rice Center Within each main plot, five subplots were left undisturbed while another five were cleared of all above-ground plant biomass. Homogenized soil cores (top 10 cm) were analyzed for pH, redox, C:N, soil organic matter (SOM) content, saturation, and temperature. Microbial function was assessed using extracellular enzyme analysis. For most enzymes, a site difference was observed due to soil moisture content, which had an effect on soil pH, redox potential, and plant community composition. For most extracellular enzymes the presence of vegetation was associated with higher activity. It is important to note that reestablishing native hydrologic and vegetated conditions are paramount in achieving previous functionality.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2011

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