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Modeling microbes to manage carbon dioxide

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In the past decade, microbiologists began realizing that communities of microbes process energy and materials, which affects their environments. To understand how microbial communities function in a natural ecosystem, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists developed a novel kinetic model that represents microbial community dynamics in soil pores.

"Modeling the dynamics of soil bacterial communities is extremely challenging because it involves disparate physical, chemical, and biological components," said Dr. Allan Konopka, director of PNNL's Microbial Communities Initiative, or MCI. The Laboratory-funded MCI began in 2009 to advance the understanding of how microbial communities function in a natural ecosystem.

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