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Functional implications of the pH-trait distribution of the microbial community in a re-inoculation experiment across a pH gradient

Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; Bååth, Erland LU and Rousk, Johannes LU (2016) In Soil Biology & Biochemistry 93. p.69-78
Abstract

We compared the influence of the microbial community composition and the environmental conditions for the functioning - microbial growth and respiration - and trait distribution - bacterial pH tolerance - of soil microorganisms across a pH gradient. Sterilised soil microcosms, including pH 4.1, 5.2, 6.7 and 8.3, with added plant litter were inoculated with unsterilized soil in a factorial design and monitored during two months. The trait distribution - pH-tolerance - of bacterial communities converged with the pH of the soil environment. Still, the different inoculum communities could result in suboptimal pH-tolerance in all soil pH environments; inoculum communities derived from low pHs had lower than optimal pH-tolerance in high soil... (More)

We compared the influence of the microbial community composition and the environmental conditions for the functioning - microbial growth and respiration - and trait distribution - bacterial pH tolerance - of soil microorganisms across a pH gradient. Sterilised soil microcosms, including pH 4.1, 5.2, 6.7 and 8.3, with added plant litter were inoculated with unsterilized soil in a factorial design and monitored during two months. The trait distribution - pH-tolerance - of bacterial communities converged with the pH of the soil environment. Still, the different inoculum communities could result in suboptimal pH-tolerance in all soil pH environments; inoculum communities derived from low pHs had lower than optimal pH-tolerance in high soil pH environments, and vice versa. The functioning of bacterial communities with trait distributions mismatched to the soil pH environment was impaired. The legacy of the initial bacterial trait distribution on bacterial pH tolerance and functioning was detected within one week and remained for two months in all soil pH environments. Fungal inoculum communities derived from low compared to high pHs resulted in higher fungal functioning. Thus, in contrast with bacteria there was no evidence that variation in pH-tolerance influenced fungal performance. Instead the fungal inoculum size appeared to explain these results. Bacteria dominated respiration in high pH while fungi dominated at low pH environments. Consequently, respiration was affected by how well-matched the bacterial trait distribution was to the pH of the soil environment at higher pHs. At low pH, the inoculum size of fungi appeared to determine the respiration.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Community assembly, Founder control, Fungal to bacterial dominance, Microbial ecology, Microbial growth, Trait distribution
in
Soil Biology & Biochemistry
volume
93
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84947966979
  • WOS:000369207200008
ISSN
0038-0717
DOI
10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.10.024
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5ad3be79-4be9-46c2-81ff-7ea2bd1a52a3
date added to LUP
2016-04-11 16:26:03
date last changed
2016-10-30 04:46:23
@misc{5ad3be79-4be9-46c2-81ff-7ea2bd1a52a3,
  abstract     = {<p>We compared the influence of the microbial community composition and the environmental conditions for the functioning - microbial growth and respiration - and trait distribution - bacterial pH tolerance - of soil microorganisms across a pH gradient. Sterilised soil microcosms, including pH 4.1, 5.2, 6.7 and 8.3, with added plant litter were inoculated with unsterilized soil in a factorial design and monitored during two months. The trait distribution - pH-tolerance - of bacterial communities converged with the pH of the soil environment. Still, the different inoculum communities could result in suboptimal pH-tolerance in all soil pH environments; inoculum communities derived from low pHs had lower than optimal pH-tolerance in high soil pH environments, and vice versa. The functioning of bacterial communities with trait distributions mismatched to the soil pH environment was impaired. The legacy of the initial bacterial trait distribution on bacterial pH tolerance and functioning was detected within one week and remained for two months in all soil pH environments. Fungal inoculum communities derived from low compared to high pHs resulted in higher fungal functioning. Thus, in contrast with bacteria there was no evidence that variation in pH-tolerance influenced fungal performance. Instead the fungal inoculum size appeared to explain these results. Bacteria dominated respiration in high pH while fungi dominated at low pH environments. Consequently, respiration was affected by how well-matched the bacterial trait distribution was to the pH of the soil environment at higher pHs. At low pH, the inoculum size of fungi appeared to determine the respiration.</p>},
  author       = {Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema and Bååth, Erland and Rousk, Johannes},
  issn         = {0038-0717},
  keyword      = {Community assembly,Founder control,Fungal to bacterial dominance,Microbial ecology,Microbial growth,Trait distribution},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {69--78},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xa9d6128)},
  series       = {Soil Biology & Biochemistry},
  title        = {Functional implications of the pH-trait distribution of the microbial community in a re-inoculation experiment across a pH gradient},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.10.024},
  volume       = {93},
  year         = {2016},
}