There is a growing body of evidence that the spatial distribution of bacteria and their relationships with other soil features play a significant role in the macroscopic function of soil. In the past this has not been widely appreciated, possibly due to the difficulty of studying soils at scales that are relevant to bacterial communities. This paper reviews the evidence for the influence of microscale interactions on function at larger scales and describes recent methodological advances that allow the microscale spatial distribution of bacterial cells and bacterial activities to be quantified. Approaches for integrating the microscale into models of soil function are briefly discussed as are new techniques that have the potential to improve our understanding of microbial - habitat interactions and of how these are linked to soil function. Keywords: bacterial spatial distribution, microscale, microhabitat, scale, biological thin sections, microsampling.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Spatial Distribution of Microbes in the Environment|
|Number of pages||25|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2007|