This task focuses on the matrix of variables of relating geology, hydrology, soil type, soil geochemistry, agricultural
practice, and microbial ecology in an area that is heavily agricultural. There is a special focus on soil microbiology to
extend the existing data from Professor Scow to include additional variables beyond crop type and land use.
What is the spatial geochemical variability in soils formed on the same rock type or different rock type?
What is the comparative impact of agricultural practice (e.g., crop type, fertilizer type, irrigation, tillage) on the
geochemistry of soils developed in the same geologic and climatic setting?
Can PCR-based nucleic acid fingerprinting methods be successfully used to characterize soil microbiology in such
What is the variability of the DNA signature of the soil community and selected pathogens in the soil, both temporally
and geographically, in an area otherwise characterized by similar geologic bedrock and soil type? How is the
composition related to management practices and crop type? What is the impact of pesticide application on soil
What is the variation of the soil DNA fingerprint and pathogen distribution associated with soils formed on different