New York’s Central Park is huge. This iconic rectangle of greenery, 2.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide, receives 40 million human visitors annually and is home to hundreds of species of animals and insects, and over 25,000 trees. But what of the world beneath the soil? How many microbes are living beneath the different environments found in the park?
A recent paper, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, has investigated the below-ground microbial diversity in Central Park. We spoke to Dr Kelly Ramirez, the study’s lead author, who is currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. Kelly told us how she went about searching for microbes in the park, and how many new species were uncovered.
- Kelly’s paper Biogeographic patterns in below-ground diversity in New York City’s Central Park are similar to those observed globally via the Royal Society
- Kelly’s homepage The Travelling Ecologist
- Information on the Society for General Microbiology’s Small World Initiative