Research Plan

An interdisciplinary approach, combining process-based ecological, physiological, and molecular methodologies is needed to address the project objectives. Expertise in several key areas is necessary for the characterizing the organisms of anhydrophilic communities and the protective mechanisms and strategies employed by anhydrophilic mats to cope with water stress. The principle investegators have extensive experience in field and laboratory assessments of mat community composition, biogeochemical cycling, polymer chemistry, and environmental stress, utilizing up to date and moat applicable analytical, physiological, and molecular techniques. The methodologies used in this study will provide sensitive and unequivocal assessments of anhydrophilic communities. Coupled with manipulative experiments, these methods will allow us to examine the relatively unexplored community structure, physiological responses, and adaptive mechanisms associated with anhydrophilic communities.