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Local soil characteristics determine the microbial communities under forest understorey plants along a latitudinal gradient
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Number of Authors: 162019 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 36, p. 34-44Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The soil microbial community is essential for maintaining ecosystem functioning and is intimately linked with the plant community. Yet, little is known on how soil microbial communities in the root zone vary at continental scales within plant species. Here we assess the effects of soil chemistry, large-scale environmental conditions (i.e. temperature, precipitation and nitrogen deposition) and forest land-use history on the soil microbial communities (measured by phospholipid fatty acids) in the root zone of four plant species (Geum urbanum, Milium effusum, Poa nemoralis and Stachys sylvatica) in forests along a 1700 km latitudinal gradient in Europe. Soil microbial communities differed significantly among plant species, and soil chemistry was the main determinant of the microbial community composition within each plant species. Influential soil chemical variables for microbial communities were plant species-specific; soil acidity, however, was often an important factor. Large-scale environmental conditions, together with soil chemistry, only explained the microbial community composition in M. effusum and P. nemoralis. Forest land-use history did not affect the soil microbial community composition. Our results underpin the dominant role of soil chemistry in shaping microbial community composition variation within plant species at the continental scale, and provide insights into the composition and functionality of soil microbial communities in forest ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 36, p. 34-44
Keywords [en]
Ancient forests, Phospholipid fatty acids, Soil chemistry, Soil fungi and bacteria, Temperature and precipitation, Variation partitioning
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169264DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2019.03.001ISI: 000467372800004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169264DiVA, id: diva2:1323065
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, Sara A. O.Plue, Jan
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Department of Physical Geography
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  • apa
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