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  1. Drake, Harold L. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The phylogenetic and functional diversities of microbial communities in tropical rainforests and how these differ from those of temperate communities remain poorly described but are directly related to the increased fluxes of greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide (N 2 O) from the tropics. Toward closing these knowledge gaps, we analyzed replicated shotgun metagenomes representing distinct life zones and an elevation gradient from four locations in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico. These soils had a distinct microbial community composition and lower species diversity compared to those of temperate grasslands or agricultural soils. In contrast to the overall distinct community composition, the relative abundances and nucleotide sequences of N 2 O reductases ( nosZ ) were highly similar between tropical forest and temperate soils. However, respiratory NO reductase ( norB ) was 2-fold more abundant in the tropical soils, which might be relatable to their greater N 2 O emissions. Nitrogen fixation ( nifH ) also showed higher relative abundance in rainforest than in temperate soils, i.e., 20% versus 0.1 to 0.3% of bacterial genomes in each soil type harbored the gene, respectively. Finally, unlike temperate soils, LEF soils showed little stratification with depth in the first 0more »to 30 cm, with ∼45% of community composition differences explained solely by location. Collectively, these results advance our understanding of spatial diversity and metabolic repertoire of tropical rainforest soil communities and should facilitate future ecological studies of these ecosystems. IMPORTANCE Tropical rainforests are the largest terrestrial sinks of atmospheric CO 2 and the largest natural source of N 2 O emissions, two greenhouse gases that are critical for the climate. The microbial communities of rainforest soils that directly or indirectly, through affecting plant growth, contribute to these fluxes remain poorly described by cultured-independent methods. To close this knowledge gap, the present study applied shotgun metagenomics to samples selected from three distinct life zones within the Puerto Rico rainforest. The results advance our understanding of microbial community diversity in rainforest soils and should facilitate future studies of natural or manipulated perturbations of these critical ecosystems.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. Wastewater surveillance for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging approach to help identify the risk of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This tool can contribute to public health surveillance at both community (wastewater treatment system) and institutional (e.g., colleges, prisons, and nursing homes) scales. This paper explores the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from initial wastewater surveillance efforts at colleges and university systems to inform future research, development and implementation. We present the experiences of 25 college and university systems in the United States that monitored campus wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 during the fall 2020 academic period. We describe the broad range of approaches, findings, resources, and impacts from these initial efforts. These institutions range in size, social and political geographies, and include both public and private institutions. Our analysis suggests that wastewater monitoring at colleges requires consideration of local information needs, sewage infrastructure, resources for sampling and analysis, college and community dynamics, approaches to interpretation and communication of results, and follow-up actions. Most colleges reported that a learning process of experimentation, evaluation, and adaptation was key to progress. This process requires ongoing collaboration among diverse stakeholders including decision-makers, researchers, faculty, facilities staff, students, and communitymore »members.« less