The Ecology of Urbanization: A Study of Soil Microbial Community Rosponse

Thumbnail Image


Publication or External Link





Urbanization is associated with global biodiversity loss of macrophauna and flora through direct and indirect mechanisms, but to date few studies have examined urban soil microbes. Although there are numerous studies on the influence of agricultural management on soil microbial community composition, there has been no global-scale study of human control over urban soil microbial communities. This thesis extends the literature of urban ecology to include soil microbial communities by analyzing soils that are part of the Global Urban Soil Ecology and Education Network (GLUSEEN). Chapter 1 sets the context for urban ecology; Chapters 2 addresses patterns of community assembly, biodiversity loss, and the phylogenetic relationships among community members; Chapter 3 addresses the metabolic pathways that characterize microbial communities existing under different land-uses across varying geographic scales; and Chapter 4 relates Chapter 2 and 3 to one another and to evolutionary theory, tackling assumptions that are particular to microbial ecology.