The role of microbial diversity in the dynamics and stability of global methane consumption: microbial methane oxidation as a model-system for microbial ecology (METHECO)


Methane oxidising bacteria (MOB) and their functioning in a well defined set of environmental conditions and habitats will be used as a model system to understand basic questions in microbial ecology as well as to gain deeper insight into the function of this environmentally very important functional group. The overall aim of the CRP is to investigate how microbial and plant diversity influences the environmentally highly relevant process of methane oxidation and how changes in biodiversity affect this function and its resilience against environmental perturbations. Collecting a large dataset (diversity as well as function) in a highly standardised manner in a representative European set of habitats will yield a "blue print" for any future assessment or predictions of functional stability of microbial communities to environmental perturbation foreseen in the near future. Focussing on this ecosystem function and on this functional group of bacteria will make it possible to answer questions pertaining to both the role of biodiversity in stabilising and maintaining methane oxidation and to general issues of microbial diversity and ecology. The objectives of the CRP are to: (i) define meaningful taxonomic units which describe microbial diversity in a selected set of habitats (ii) assess the effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations on diversity, functional stability, recovery and re-colonization of these habitats by MOB (iii) determine the role of plant and microbial (protozoa and non-MOB prokaryotes) diversity in the former objective (iv) standardise methodology and interpretation in order to use the dataset obtained as a model for environmental microbial ecology.


Wetenschappelijk artikel





Dr. P.L.E. Bodelier

Verbonden aan

Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)


Dr. P.L.E. Bodelier


01/10/2006 tot 25/01/2010