Host specificity of moss-associated cyanobacteria

Main area:Ecology
Target group:Biology
Educational level:Masters, Bachelor
Project description:

Mosses are colonized by nitrogen (N) fixing bacteria (mostly cyanobacteria) in unpolluted ecosystems like subarctic tundra, boreal forests and tropical cloud forests. 

We do not know why some moss species are highly colonized by cyanobacteria and others are not. In this project, the traits of different moss species (e.g. nutrient content, water holding capacity, pH) will be assessed and related to (1) cyanobacterial colonization using bacterial counts or qPCR, and (2) activity, using N fixation measurements. Also, if cyanobacteria could choose which moss to colonize, which would they chose? 

Please contact Kathrin Rousk ( if you are interested in a project on moss-associated cyanobacteria. Feel free to suggest own ideas for a project. 

Methods used:Microscopy, nutrient analyses, culturing, nitrogen fixation measurements
Keywords:moss, cyanobacteria, arctic, tropics, nitrogen
Project home page:
Supervisor(s):  Kathrin Rousk