Microbial diversity along climatic gradients in alpine region of Western Himalaya

Dinesh Thakur
Dinesh Thakur
Himachal Pradesh, India (in Western Himalaya)
project abstract

High elevation regions are unique in their biodiversity and are among the ones facing the highest rate of climate change. This change is causing many irreversible changes in high elevation ecosystems necessitating the elucidation of unique biodiversity present there.  This project aims to test for the effect of temperature and precipitation on mycorrhizal diversity by using natural climatic gradients in Western Himalaya as proxy for climate. Along with the effect of climate, we will also test how plant diversity and plant traits influence mycorrhizal diversity. To fulfill the project aim, we plan to sample a total of 25 localities in western Himalayan region. These localities will represent a factorial combination of temperature and precipitation. To estimate mycorrhizal diversity, 2.5 kb fragment of rDNA will be sequenced. We will involve local people and researchers from Himalayan region during the project work. We expect to generate at least one scientific publication in a peer-reviewed ecological journal. The outputs of the project will be disseminated to the scientific audience as well as the general public for its maximum impact. All the datasets generated during this project will be open access for everyone to use after publication.