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Microbial community development and function at a newly reclaimed oil sands site

  • Author / Creator
    Zahraei, Shirin
  • Assessment of microbial community development is required to determine the success of reclamation process on disturbed land after mining. Peat (PMM) or LFH mineral soil mix (LFH) is used as capping material in reclamation. Application of coarse woody debris (CWD) also facilitates reclamation by developing microsites for biogeochemical processes. To investigate the effect of reclamation material on microbial activities and functions, a study was conducted over a 3-year period at a reclaimed site in Fort MacMurray, Canada. Soil samples were collected bi-annually from LFH and PMM plots amended with or without CWD. Results revealed an increasing trend over time in microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, respiration rate, β-glucosidase and N-acetylglucosaminidase enzyme activities, and abundances of functional genes (amoA, nirS and nifH) involved in nitrogen cycle. LFH showed more pronounced effect than PMM due to its higher decomposed organic matter content. Application of CWD and addition of fresh labile carbon inputs in fall enhanced microbial growth and function.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R35T3G971
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Renewable Resources
  • Specialization
    • Soil Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Tariq Siddique
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Chang, Scott (Renewable Resources)
    • Stein, Lisa (Biological Sciences)