Healthy Microbial Community Helps Grasses Weather Climate Change

Research published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that grasses with a healthy microbial community are better able to withstand climate change. The paper’s lead author spoke about the importance of microbes for plants: “They protect from pathogens, provide the grass with nutrients such as nitrogen, supply hormones to bolster the plant’s health and growth, protect from UV radiation, and help the grass manage drought.” Under severe drought conditions, microbial communities became less diverse and had fewer bacteria, total, making the plant more vulnerable to environmental stress.