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Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Amy Treonis


Soil microbial communities contain numerous organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, nematodes, and archaea (Fierer et al., 2007). These microbes make up a large percentage of the living biomass on Earth with a hectare of soil containing anywhere from 103 to 104kg of microbial biomass (Fierer et al., 2007). Despite comprising a large amount of life on earth, the ecology of these microbial populations and communities has not been fully explored (Raskin et al., 1994, Fierer and Jackson, 2006, Fierer et al., 2007). Previous research has focused primarily on bacteria, (Fierer et al., 2007), yet archaea are widely-distributed and functionally diverse. A better understanding of archaeal diversity and ecology in soils may provide important information for understanding soil food webs (Madigan et al., 2009).