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Microbial communities are the drivers of ecosystem functioning. We use a combination of traditional and latest techniques to elucidate microbial ecological patterns and plant-soil-microbe interactions in agricultural and native ecosystems. Our lab explores how microbiomes can be harnessed through tailored management practices.


Microbiomes and Land Use Intensification

Agricultural intensification is one of the major problems of the 21st century that alters the local biodiversity and affects ecosystem processes. The total area of cultivated land worldwide has increased over 500% in the last five decades with a 700% increase in the fertilizer use and a several-fold increase in pesticide use. Soil and plant- associated microbes play a key role in determining the above-ground productivity. Therefore, understanding the effect of agricultural intensification on microbial communities is essential for the productivity and sustainability of ecosystems. In a previous study, we reported that intensive land-use reduces root microbiome complexity and the abundance of keystone taxa, while sustainable practices promote beneficial microbes that enhance nutrient availability (Banerjee et al., 2019 ISME Journal). Our lab explores the impact of land-use intensification on soil and plant microbes at different spatial scales.