Location

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Science and Education Building

Start Date

9-8-2011 10:15 AM

End Date

9-8-2011 12:00 PM

Description

Serpentinites, perhaps more than any other rock type, control the composition and evolution of the development of the surrounding ecosystems. The bulk chemistry of serpentinite rocks, high in Mg and trace elements, and low in nutrients such as Ca, K, P, and N, causes an extreme and stressful environment for ecosystems. However, the role that those serpentine ecosystems play in development of serpentine soils has not been examined.

Due to the unusual chemistry of serpentine soils, serpentine ecosystems have deeper and better-developed root systems than other ecosystems. The rhizosphere of serpentine systems, documented to produce abundant organic acids and siderophores, is also likely to impact serpentine soils. In order to test the effects of biological impacts on serpentine soil formation, soil pore waters were analyzed for organic acids. Furthermore, Fe-oxidizing bacteria have been detected using Biological Activity Reaction Tests (BARTs) and such bacteria were investigated by enrichment cultures. In addition to directly measuring the biological factors including organic acids, siderophores, and Fe-oxidizing bacteria, the impact of such weathering on soils and rock was examined using XRF, XRD, and SEM.

Keywords

Serpentinite; Soil chemistry; Soil microbial ecology; Soils; Rhizobacteria; Weathering

Disciplines

Biogeochemistry | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Forest Sciences | Plant Sciences | Soil Science

Language

English

 
Aug 9th, 10:15 AM Aug 9th, 12:00 PM

Biological effects on serpentinite weathering

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Science and Education Building

Serpentinites, perhaps more than any other rock type, control the composition and evolution of the development of the surrounding ecosystems. The bulk chemistry of serpentinite rocks, high in Mg and trace elements, and low in nutrients such as Ca, K, P, and N, causes an extreme and stressful environment for ecosystems. However, the role that those serpentine ecosystems play in development of serpentine soils has not been examined.

Due to the unusual chemistry of serpentine soils, serpentine ecosystems have deeper and better-developed root systems than other ecosystems. The rhizosphere of serpentine systems, documented to produce abundant organic acids and siderophores, is also likely to impact serpentine soils. In order to test the effects of biological impacts on serpentine soil formation, soil pore waters were analyzed for organic acids. Furthermore, Fe-oxidizing bacteria have been detected using Biological Activity Reaction Tests (BARTs) and such bacteria were investigated by enrichment cultures. In addition to directly measuring the biological factors including organic acids, siderophores, and Fe-oxidizing bacteria, the impact of such weathering on soils and rock was examined using XRF, XRD, and SEM.