Microbial biodiversity contributes to soil carbon release : a case study on fire disturbed boreal forests

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Zhou , X , Sun , H , Heinonsalo , J , Pumpanen , J & Berninger , F 2022 , ' Microbial biodiversity contributes to soil carbon release : a case study on fire disturbed boreal forests ' , FEMS Microbiology Ecology , vol. 98 , no. 8 , 074 . https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiac074

Title: Microbial biodiversity contributes to soil carbon release : a case study on fire disturbed boreal forests
Author: Zhou, Xuan; Sun, Hui; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Pumpanen, Jukka; Berninger, Frank
Contributor organization: University of Helsinki
Department of Forest Sciences
Department of Microbiology
Forest Ecology and Management
Viikki Plant Science Centre (ViPS)
Jussi Heinonsalo / Principal Investigator
Forest Soil Science and Biogeochemistry
Ecosystem processes (INAR Forest Sciences)
Date: 2022-07-21
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
ISSN: 0168-6496
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiac074
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/346709
Abstract: Microbial biodiversity plays the dominant role in soil carbon emissions in fire-disturbed boreal forests. Microbial communities often possess enormous diversity, raising questions about whether this diversity drives ecosystem functioning, especially the influence of diversity on soil decomposition and respiration. Although functional redundancy is widely observed in soil microorganisms, evidence that species occupy distinct metabolic niches has also emerged. In this paper, we found that apart from the environmental variables, increases in microbial diversity, notably bacterial diversity, lead to an increase in soil C emissions. This was demonstrated using structural equation modelling (SEM), linking soil respiration with naturally differing levels of soil physio-chemical properties, vegetation coverage, and microbial diversity after fire disturbance. Our SEMs also revealed that models including bacterial diversity explained more variation of soil CO2 emissions (about 45%) than fungal diversity (about 38%). A possible explanation of this discrepancy is that fungi are more multifunctional than bacteria and, therefore, an increase in fungal diversity does not necessarily change soil respiration. Further analysis on functional gene structure suggested that bacterial and fungal diversities mainly explain the potential decomposition of recalcitrant C compare with that of labile C. Overall, by incorporating microbial diversity and the environmental variables, the predictive power of models on soil C emission was significantly improved, indicating microbial diversity is crucial for predicting ecosystem functions.
Subject: bacterial diversity
fungal diversity
microbial community composition
microbial functional genes
soil carbon emission
structural equation modelling
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
11832 Microbiology and virology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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