Event Title

Effects of Surface Fires and Below Ground Heating on the Biogeochemical Structures of Endomycorrhizal Fungal Spores

Poster Number

03

Presenter Information

Molly M. BishopFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Scott Werts

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Chemistry, Physics and Geology

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

22-4-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 2:00 PM

Description

The impact of surface fires on soil properties can vary from negligible to severe, depending on a multitude of factors on both the surface of the soil and within the soil itself. Once a fire moves through an ecosystem, there are no simple ways to know exactly how deep the heat from the fire penetrated into the soil or what those temperatures actually were. Having this information may provide insight into ecosystem recovery and may have further applications to archaeological studies. We are investigating the biogeochemical structure of endomycorrhizal fungal spores, which show little to no morphological change when exposed to temperatures exceeding 500°C and should remain present in the soil following a fire event. We obtained soil samples from a pine dominated forest and a deciduous forest in two different soil types from the piedmont of the southeastern US and extracted the fungal spores for temperature experiments. We utilized a scanning electron microscope with emission dispersive spectroscopy to seek information on the biogeochemical structure of the spores and note any changes in nature of the structure and makeup as temperature increased. Initial results suggest that oxygen ratios may be changing with temperature, however, more work is being done on various species to see if there are species-specific trends.

Previously Presented/Performed?

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference, San Francisco, California, December 2015

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Apr 22nd, 12:00 PM Apr 22nd, 2:00 PM

Effects of Surface Fires and Below Ground Heating on the Biogeochemical Structures of Endomycorrhizal Fungal Spores

Rutledge

The impact of surface fires on soil properties can vary from negligible to severe, depending on a multitude of factors on both the surface of the soil and within the soil itself. Once a fire moves through an ecosystem, there are no simple ways to know exactly how deep the heat from the fire penetrated into the soil or what those temperatures actually were. Having this information may provide insight into ecosystem recovery and may have further applications to archaeological studies. We are investigating the biogeochemical structure of endomycorrhizal fungal spores, which show little to no morphological change when exposed to temperatures exceeding 500°C and should remain present in the soil following a fire event. We obtained soil samples from a pine dominated forest and a deciduous forest in two different soil types from the piedmont of the southeastern US and extracted the fungal spores for temperature experiments. We utilized a scanning electron microscope with emission dispersive spectroscopy to seek information on the biogeochemical structure of the spores and note any changes in nature of the structure and makeup as temperature increased. Initial results suggest that oxygen ratios may be changing with temperature, however, more work is being done on various species to see if there are species-specific trends.