Considerations of the soil microbiome in aridland management

10-20% of drylands and 24% of the world's productive lands are currently degraded. Researchers do not yet fully understand important dynamics driving patterns of soil health and practitioners do not yet have access to management strategies that enhance the cultivation of beneficial soil microbial communities that could provide utility for restoring soil fertility and reduce the incidence of exotic species. There is a pressing need to develop the science and technology required to protect and restore the fertility of landscapes around the world in the face of diverse and changing climatic conditions. Largely in collaboration with the Barberán lab at the University of Arizona, we conduct research that focuses on understanding relationships between soil microbial communities and desert plants in order to drive technology advances in restoration and invasive species management of dryland habitats. We have experiments deployed at the Santa Rita Experimental Range funded by a NSF CNH grant, Tumamoc hill in collaboration with Albert Burquez, funded by several University of Arizona grants, and Saguaro National Park in collaboration with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

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