Edmonds Lab

Ecosystem Ecology


Attached microbial community (biofilm) thriving on stream rocks

Linking genes to ecosystem function

             As the tools to study microbes in aquatic ecosystems have improved, the opportunity to link community structure to ecosystem function has become a reality.  However, the diversity of patterns documenting shifts (or the lack thereof) in microbial community structure as community activity fluctuates leaves us with the challenge of developing a conceptual framework within which we can predict when and where species identity drives biogeochemical cycling. 

             Our lab is interested in ecosystem ecology and microbial community activity in freshwater and coastal ecosystems.  As a state, Alabama harbors some of the most diverse communities of mussels, clams, turtles, crayfish, and fish found in North America.  At the base of these specious ecosystems is a equally diverse community of microbes who contribute to primary production, nutrient regeneration, and carbon dioxide and methane production.

             We use a variety of approaches to answer research questions regarding organic matter cycling in aquatic ecosystems at different temporal and spatial scales. We couple measurements of elemental  cycling (N, P, Fe, C) with analyses of microbial DNA (genomic reservoir) and RNA (gene expression). In particular, our lab has focused on large-scale geomorphic change as a regulator of river metabolism and nutrient retention capacity.  Read more about our work at the “Project List and Manuscripts” link on this page.          

Text Box: Snail mail:
University of Alabama
Department of Biological Sciences
Box 870206
Tuscaloosa, AL
Text Box: Phone: 205-348-6805
Fax: 205-348-1403
E-mail: jwedmonds@bama.ua.edu
Text Box: Department of Biological Sciences

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