Loading...

Bacterial communities associated to above-ground plant parts are crucial for plant health. The composition of bacterial communities associated with above-ground plant parts may be shaped by source communities such as soil bacteria but also by plant traits such as the availability of carbon and nitrogen or the composition of secondary metabolites. Although flowers are directly linked to plant fitness, bacterial colonizers of the anthosphere are less well characterized and their ecological roles are less well understood compared to bacteria associated with leaves.
Additionally, the determinants of their diversity as well as their responses to environmental gradients such as variation in land use intensity are unknown.


By exploiting the hierarchical organization of the Biodiversity Exploratories, we are planning to investigate the organismal and genetic α-, β- and γ- diversity of floral microbiomes as a function of land use, plant diversity, and functional flower traits such as floral scents and the availability of carbon and nitrogen in order to understand links between these different levels of biodiversity.

These data and results will allow us to gauge the relative importance of environmental and plant-based factors. Thus, our results will provide a novel perspective on associations between bacteria and flowers and help to understand effects of anthropogenic alterations of the environment on organismal and genetic diversity.

Field laboratory work: Extraction of sugars and bacterial DNA from flower and leaf surfaces.
Field laboratory work: Sampling of flower and leaf scents using silicone tubes
Field collection of flower and leaf volatiles.
Field collection of flower and leaf volatiles

Doc
Gaube P., Junker R. R., Keller A. (2021): Changes amid constancy: flower and leaf microbiomes along land use gradients and between bioregions. Basic and Applied Ecology 50, 1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2020.10.003
More information:  doi.org

Scientific assistants

Prof. Dr. Robert R. Junker
Project manager
Prof. Dr. Robert R. Junker
Philipps-Universität Marburg
PD Dr. Alexander Keller
Project manager
PD Dr. Alexander Keller
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Paul Gaube
Employee
Paul Gaube
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Top