A team of UC Irvine professors has been awarded $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to assess the below-ground effects of environmental change. The project takes advantage of an experiment by Earth system science chair Michael Goulden on Irvine Ranch Conservancy land that gauged plant response to environmental change, particularly nitrogen deposition and rainfall levels. The goal of the new project is to connect microbial diversity with the extracellular enzyme systems that catalyze the decay of organic material. The team also will determine whether different types of microbes and their enzymes respond to environmental change and can recover from it. Steven Allison (pictured) is directing the project, co-led by Goulden, Adam Martiny, Jennifer Martiny and Kathleen Treseder.