OU Research Delineates the Impacts of Climate Warming on Microbial Network Interactions
NORMAN, OKLA. – Climate change impacts are broad and far-reaching. A new study by University of Oklahoma researchers from the Institute for Environmental Genomics explores the impacts of climate warming on microbial network complexity and stability, providing critical insights to ecosystem management and for projecting ecological consequences of future climate warming.
“Global climate change is one of the most profound anthropogenic disturbances to our planet,” said Jizhong Zhou, IEG’s director, a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Gallogly College of Engineering. “Climate warming can alter soil microbial community diversity, structure and activities, but it remains uncertain whether and how it impacts network complexity and its relationships to stability in microbial communities.”
To understand whether and how climate warming affects the complexity and stability of ecological networks in soil microbial communities, the research team examined temporal dynamics of soil microbial communities in a long-term experiment carried out in a tallgrass prairie ecosystem in central Oklahoma.
“Our study provides explicit evidence that network complexity begets stability in microbial ecology,” Zhou said. “Molecular ecological networks under warming became significantly more robust, with network stability strongly correlated with network complexity, supporting the central ecological belief that complexity begets stability.”
“Furthermore, these results suggest that preserving microbial ‘interactions’ is critical for ecosystem management and for projecting ecological consequences of future climate warming,” he added.
The study’s findings have implications for projecting ecological consequences of future climate warming and for ecosystem management. Although climate warming has impacted decreased biodiversity and associated ecosystem functioning, this study suggests that the microbial community stability in the grassland ecosystem and the linked ecosystem functions could be less vulnerable in the warmer world.
The study, “Climate warming enhances microbial network complexity and stability,” is published in Nature Climate Change. For more information about this study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
"Stimulation of soil respiration by elevated CO2 is enhanced under nitrogen limitation in a decade-long grassland study," published in PNAS.
Abstract: Whether and how CO2 and nitrogen (N) availability interact to influence carbon (C) cycling processes such as soil respiration remains a question of considerable uncertainty in projecting future C–climate feedbacks, which are strongly influenced by multiple global change drivers, including elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) and increased N deposition. However, because decades of research on the responses of ecosystems to eCO2 and N enrichment have been done largely independently, their interactive effects on soil respiratory CO2 efflux remain unresolved. Here, we show that in a multifactor free-air CO2 enrichment experiment, BioCON (Biodiversity, CO2, and N deposition) in Minnesota, the positive response of soil respiration to eCO2 gradually strengthened at ambient (low) N supply but not enriched (high) N supply for the 12-y experimental period from 1998 to 2009. In contrast to earlier years, eCO2 stimulated soil respiration twice as much at low than at high N supply from 2006 to 2009. In parallel, microbial C degradation genes were significantly boosted by eCO2 at low but not high N supply. Incorporating those functional genes into a coupled C–N ecosystem model reduced model parameter uncertainty and improved the projections of the effects of different CO2 and N levels on soil respiration. If our observed results generalize to other ecosystems, they imply widely positive effects of eCO2 on soil respiration even in infertile systems.
Stimulation of soil respiration by elevated CO2 is enhanced under nitrogen limitation in a decade-long grassland study | PNAS
New Study Finds OU Research Well Cited, Impactful
According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS Biology, 197 University of Oklahoma researchers are listed as among the most influential researchers in the world. The study was led by Stanford University professor John Loannidis and analyzed the career-long impacts of researchers globally across a broad range of disciplines. The resulting list features the top 100,000 impactful researchers.
An individual’s research productivity and impact are often measured by how frequently others cite their work. However, in his paper, Loannidis challenged measures of research impact primarily based on citation counts. He suggests that norms for different disciplines and sub-disciplines can differ widely, making citation counts like “apples to oranges” when looking across disciplines. Some authors will also cite their own previous research to exaggerate their research impact, or affiliate with “citation farms,” in which a small cluster of authors heavily cite each other.
To address those concerns, the study’s authors published a database that uses a variety of measures to calculate researchers’ impact, including a composite measure of citations that adjusts for influencing factors.
The 197 OU researchers, ranging in fields from engineering, to history, to health sciences, social sciences and many more, are represented among the top researchers in the world based on this composite measure, including career-long research impact and research impact for the year 2019.
“This impressive list of world-leading OU researchers is a clear testament to the research excellence that has been a hallmark of OU throughout its history, and serves as a reminder of what an excellent base we have on which to build the success of the Lead On, University strategic plan,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, OU Norman vice president for research and partnerships.
“This study’s results and database underscore the fact that our researchers are making discoveries that lead to improved health and well-being for people in Oklahoma and beyond,” said James Tomasek, vice president for research at the OU Health Sciences Center, which has campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. “Whether their research projects take place in a laboratory, a hospital or clinic, or in the community, our researchers are among the most dedicated and skilled at what they do.”
The following list of 197 OU researchers, includes current, recently hired, emeritus and deceased OU personnel (view the full database): B. Abbott; Younane N. Abousleiman; Gillian M. Air; Janet K. Allen; Robert E. Anderson; Michael T. Ashby; Mohammed Atiquzzaman; Jessie L.S. Au; Howard Baer; Miguel J. Bagajewicz; E. Baron; Joseph Bastian; T. W. Beck; Debra A. Bemben; Michael G. Bemben; Jeffrey S. Bender; C. W. Bert; Ricardo Betancur-R; Resham Bhattacharya; Howard Bluestein; D. Blume; Mark C. Bolino; Dale W. Bratzler; Eli S. Bridge; Harold E. Brooks; Cecelia Brown; Kathleen Buckwalter; Lowell W. Busenitz; Janalee P. Caldwell; Daniel J.J. Carr; Steven D. Chernausek; Steven G. Chrysant; Robert H. Cichewicz; Richard L. Cifelli; Faruk Civan; Adam J. Clark; P. C. Comp; Paul F. Cook; Michael S. Cookson; Linda D. Cowan; Robert K. Crane; A. Neil Crowson; Anna Csiszar; Madeleine W. Cunningham; Mark Curtis; George L. Dale; Rajiv P. Dant; Paul L. DeAngelis; Michael S. Detamore; Tomas J. Diaz de la Rubia; Danny N. Dhanasekaran; Glenn Dryhurst; Claude E. Duchon; Riley E. Dunlap; David S. Ebert; Louis H. Ederington; Barish H. Edil; Ronald C. Elkins; G. Emanuel; Kevin C. Farmer; Ola M. Fincke; James L. Fleckenstein; Robert D. Foreman; Roger Frech; Jacob E. Friedman; B. M. Fung; Christine Gaylarde; James N. George; Ahmad Ghassemi; S. R. Gollahalli; Nathan A. Goodman; Gary J. Gorbsky; Brian P. Grady; Barbara A. Greene; Ronald A. Greenfield; Ronald L. Halterman; Robert M. Hamm; M. H. Hanigan; Ulrich H. E. Hansmann; Kyle Harper; Ji Hong; Yang Hong; Elaine Hsieh; Warren M. Jackman; Judith A. James; Ralf Janknecht; Michael Kaspari; Jeffrey F. Kelly; Susan Kovats; Lee R. Krumholz; F. C. Lai; Peter Lamb; Paul A. Lawson; Ralph Lazzara; Yun Zheng Le; Fred N. Lee; Karen M. Leighly; Min Li; Douglas K. Lilly; Shaorong Liu; David London; William R. Lovallo; G. T. Lumpkin; Jian xing Ma; Chuanbin Mao; Kurt J. Marfurt; William J. Matthews; Rodger P. McEver; Greg McFarquhar; Michael J. McInerney; Jesus E. Medina; William L. Megginson; William Meyer; David Miller; Kimball A. Milton; Kyung Whan Min; Farrokh Mistree; Shankar Mitra; James W. Mold; Kathleen Moore; Kevin L. Moore; Priyabrata Mukherjee; John J. Mulvihill; Michael Mumford; Juneann W. Murphy; Hiroshi Nakagawa; Ram S. Nanda; Kenneth M. Nicholas; William C. Orr; Dimitrios V. Papavassiliou; Oscar A. Parsons; Samuel L. Perry; Kenneth J. Petersen; Michael W. Pfau; Betty Pfefferbaum; Corey C. Phelps; R. Paul Philp; Chinthalapally V. Rao; Gary E. Raskob; Ze’ev Reches; M. Reichlin; Morris Reichlin; Daniel E. Resasco; Alireza R. Rezaie; Arlan Richardson; Michael B. Richman; George B. Richter-Addo; Malcolm Robinson; Bruce A. Roe; James A. Rosenthal; Elliott D. Ross; Laurence Z. Rubenstein; Scott D. Russell; Alexander Ryzhkov; David Sabatini; Saeed Salehi; Randy A. Sansone; Bayrammurad Saparov; Ingo Schlupp; Francis J. Schmitz; Yihan Shao; Margaret A. Shaffer; Mark Sharfman; Jeremy C. Short; Roger Slatt; Carl Sondergeld; William E. Sonntag; M. Strauss; Heshan Sun; Ira N. Targoff; C. Teodoriu; Udho Thadani; Djebbar Tiab; Rodney K. Tweten; Zoltan Ungvari; Holly Van Remmen; Caryn C. Vaughn; Laurie J. Vitt; Joan Walker; D. Keith Walters; Xuguang Wang; Barry L. Weaver; Lawrence J. Weider; Paul H. Weigel; Robert Wild; Stefan Wilhelm; Mark L. Wolraich; Xiangming Xiao; Ming Xue; Rui Q. Yang; Youngjae You; Linda Zagzebski; Helen I. Zgurskaya; Guifu Zhang; Bin Zheng; Jizhong Zhou; Robert W. Zmud.
Additionally, Jizhong Zhou, the director of the OU Institute for Environmental Genomics and George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, was also listed among the top 0.1%, of the world’s researchers by the research analytics company, Web of Science. Their 2020 list of highly cited researchers include those most frequently cited over the last decade, fewer than 6,200 scholars across 21 research fields.
This article was originally published by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.
Article Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2020
New Study Finds OU Research Well Cited, Impactful
Dr. Zhou Clarivate Web of Science 2020 Highly Cited Researcher
Each year, Clarivate™ identifies the world’s most influential researchers ─ the select few who have been most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade. In 2020, fewer than 6,200, or about 0.1%, of the world's researchers, in 21 research fields and across multiple fields, have earned this exclusive distinction.
Dr. Zhou is among this elite group recognized for your exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™ for three years in a row.
Dr. Zhou 2020 IWA Fellow
The International Water Association (IWA) is very pleased to announce the appointment of new 2020 IWA Fellows and Distinguished Fellows.
The individual water professionals are being recognised by their peers for their sustained outstanding contribution to the water profession, and to delivering the IWA mission of creating a water-wise world, improving the wellbeing of societies and the environment.
August 31, 2020
Researchers Receive $3 Million National Science Foundation Grant
NORMAN, OKLA. – A research team led by the University of Oklahoma has received a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to “understand the rules of life” through microbiome research.
Microbiomes, a collection of microbes in a specific habitat or environment, are “among the most diverse life forms on our planet, inhabiting almost every imaginable environment, playing integral and unique roles in various ecosystem processes,” said Jizhong Zhou, the OU director for the Institute for Environmental Genomics, a George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Gallogly College of Engineering.
Zhou leads the project, “Searching for General Rules Governing Microbiome Dynamics Using Anaerobic Digesters as Model Systems,” which aims to identify general ecological rules governing microbiome dynamics. Team members include Alan Hastings at the University of California, Davis; Mathew Leibold at the University of Florida; and Qiang He at the University of Tennessee, as well as three research scientists and three postdoctoral researchers from the Institute for Environmental Genomics at OU.
“Through determination of the mechanisms controlling microbiome dynamics, this study will provide fundamental knowledge critical to predicting microbiome behaviors to enable science-informed policies for ecosystem management both in this context and much more broadly,” Zhou said. “The project will provide unique opportunities for training the next generation of scientists with broad interdisciplinary expertise and skills.”
To find the rules governing microbiome dynamics, the researchers will use laboratory anaerobic bioreactors, an innovative waste-recycling method, to determine the short-term temporal dynamics and long-term stability of microbiome biodiversity, structure and functions in responses to various environmental changes.
“This award is a demonstration of the impact OU research is having on global challenges in support of national priorities,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia OU vice president for research and partnerships. “Zhou’s team will be advancing the National Science Foundation investigation into the rules of life that will enable forecasting or prediction of changes in biological systems.”
In 2016, NSF unveiled a set of “Big Ideas." Ten bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for investment at the frontiers of science and engineering. One of these Big Ideas includes the program, “Understanding the Rules of Life: Microbiome Theory and Mechanisms,” which aims to improve understanding and establish the theory and mechanisms that govern the structure and function of microbiomes.
For more information about the project, please contact Jizhong Zhou at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Daliang Ning at email@example.com.