Mycobiome Diversity of Treeline Ecotones in the North Western Himalaya (MD-TEN WH)

Aabroo Fatima Qazi
Aabroo Fatima Qazi
Northwestern Himalaya, India
project abstract

The alpine treeline in the north-western Himalaya forms a distinct ecological boundary between the upper limit of closed-canopy forests and the alpine vegetation. Trees in this ecotone are highly sensitive to climate change, and soil microbes can help relieve climatic stress for them. Investigating how the soil mycobiome responds to environmental changes, including shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns associated with climate change, can help predict and mitigate the impacts of climate change on soil fertility, carbon storage, and ecosystem stability. In this context, the documentation of the soil mycobiome within the treeline ecotone of climate-sensitive Himalayan landscapes is of utmost importance. In the present project, we will collect baseline data on the soil mycobiome using molecular methods (DNA extraction from soil, its amplification using specific primers, and subsequent data analysis). This will help us gain information with potential use in monitoring and assessing ecosystem functionality and tracking the ecosystem impact of impending global climate change. It can also be used to understand how the diversity, distribution, and functionality of the soil mycobiome itself may be affected by the changing climate. The valuable insights gained from the proposed project can be applied to ecosystem restoration programs.

Photo by Akshat Vats on Unsplash