Thursday, 16 May 2013

River Sampling Day Call

Background to River Sampling Day (RSD)
RSD is a sister initiative to Ocean Sampling Day, the global marine sampling campaign which is part of the EU-funded Micro B3.
Microbial communities in rivers are greatly under-researched, even though they play important roles in the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and carbon, and the clean-up of freshwater pollution. To help address this gap in knowledge, we are launching River Sampling Day (RSD), a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s rivers. The RSD pilot study will take place in 2013 on the solstices (June 21st and December 21st). The Samples collected on these days will be contextualized by the same environmental parameters and will be processed together in the same way. As one dataset, they will provide insights into fundamental rules of riverine microbial diversity and function, and will provide a snapshot of the microbial seed bank in participating rivers and river catchments. We hope that RSD 2013 will be the starting point of a coordinated long-term sampling campaign that will create a reference data set for other freshwater experiments in years to come. We also hope that sites participating in RSD will form the core of an international freshwater Genomic Observatories Network.

RSD pilot study
We have received pump-priming funds from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) to sequence 300 16S community profiles and 8 to 10 shotgun metagenomes from selected, well-contextualized sites. The aims of the pilot study are to build a network of future collaborators, to use the collected metagenomes to predict community metabolic potential and compare it to flux data (PRMT method, Larsen et al, 2011)
 and to develop an index of ‘indigenous’ to ‘transient’ riverine microbiota as a potential predictor of the levels of inputs and river health. Lastly we will use the data to develop an Ecological Niche Modelling approach in collaboration with BioVEL.

Call for participation in River Sampling Day
We would like to invite external researchers to join RSD. If you are associated with a river research site or other regular river research activity and would like to participate in the RSD pilot study please register using this link:

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