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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Michigan Technological University
  • Erika Hersch-Green
  • (906) 487-3351
Award Date:01/09/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,127,287
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 449,700
  • FY 2021=$259,306
  • FY 2020=$190,394
Start Date:02/01/2020
End Date:01/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Can material costs contribute to the structuring of biodiversity patterns from genomes and transcriptomes to multispecies communities?
Federal Award ID Number:1941309
DUNS ID:065453268
Parent DUNS ID:065453268
Program:Population & Community Ecology
Program Officer:
  • Andrea Porras-Alfaro
  • (703) 292-2944

Awardee Location

Street:1400 Townsend Drive
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Michigan Technological University
Street:1400 Townsend Drive
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Understanding the connections between an organism’s genes, their appearance, and their environment is key to both understanding how organisms, populations, and communities will respond to environmental changes and the challenges to preserving biodiversity. This research investigates how changes in soil nitrogen and phosphorus levels in areas with characteristically different temperature and moisture regimes alters the genetic and functional trait attributes of plants, their presence and performance in ecological communities, and ultimately patterns of biodiversity across levels from genes to communities. This research uses techniques from the fields of genetics, physiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and mathematical modelling to comprehensively investigate these linkages. This project integrates K-12 grade and undergraduate students in course- and field-based research experiences to enhance student excitement, learning, and involvement of science and the scientific method. By working with students and professionals trained in scientific communication and media generation, this project also will increase both scientific literacy and engagement on critical topics related to nutrient eutrophication, conservation of biodiversity, and evolutionary adaptation and the awareness of related STEM career pathways. This project seeks to enhance understanding of whether increased ecosystem nutrient availability results in the relaxation of material cost constraints associated with nucleic acids and building genomes and transcriptomes, thereby affecting the structure of primary producer’s genomes and transcriptomes and the ecological communities in which they are embedded. This research will: (1) Characterize the relationships among genome size, transcriptome expression patterns and elemental composition, and functional/physiological traits in cytotypes of a non-model allopolyploid and an autopolyploid species; (2) Engage in field research to broadly elucidate relationships between genome size and traits related to photosynthesis, growth, and nutrient usage in multiple plants and plant assemblages under different nutrient supplies and climatic conditions; and (3) Combine species occurrence data from multiple plant and consumer community assemblages in different nutrient treatment plots and climate conditions with time series phylogenetic modelling approaches and manipulative field experiments to obtain mechanistic insights into the roles of material costs and genome size in bottom-up and top-down controls of biodiversity patterns. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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