A comprehensive study to understand the effects of climate warming, simulated by soil transplant, on soil microbial community and its feedback responses
ABSTRACT: Soil transplant serves as a proxy to simulate climate change in realistic climate regimes. Here, we assessed the effects of climate warming and cooling on soil microbial communities, which are key drivers in Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, four years after soil transplant over large transects from northern (N site) to central (NC site) and southern China (NS site) and vice versa. Four years after soil transplant, soil nitrogen components, microbial biomass, community phylogenetic and functional structures were altered. Microbial functional diversity, measured by a metagenomic tool named GeoChip, and phylogenetic diversity are increased with temperature, while microbial biomass were similar or decreased. Nevertheless, the effects of climate change was overridden by maize cropping, underscoring the need to disentangle them in research. Mantel tests and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) demonstrated that vegetation, climatic factors (e.g., temperature and precipitation), soil nitrogen components and CO2 efflux were significantly correlated to the microbial community composition. Further investigation unveiled strong correlations between carbon cycling genes and CO2 efflux in bare soil but not cropped soil, and between nitrogen cycling genes and nitrification, which provides mechanistic understanding of these microbe-mediated processes and empowers an interesting possibility of incorporating bacterial gene abundance in greenhouse gas emission modeling. Fifty four samples were collected from three soil types (Phaeozem,Cambisol,Acrisol) in three sites (Hailun, Fengqiu and Yingtan) along a latitude with reciprocal transplant; Both with and without maize cropping in each site; Three replicates in every treatments.
Project description:Tibet is one of the most threatened regions by climate warming, thus understanding how its microbial communities function may be of high importance for predicting microbial responses to climate changes. Here, we report a study to profile soil microbial structural genes, which infers functional roles of microbial communities, along four sites/elevations of a Tibetan mountainous grassland, aiming to explore potential microbial responses to climate changes via a strategy of space-for-time substitution. Using a microarray-based metagenomics tool named GeoChip 4.0, we showed that microbial communities were distinct for most but not all of the sites. Substantial variations were apparent in stress, N and C cycling genes, but they were in line with the functional roles of these genes. Cold shock genes were more abundant at higher elevations. Also, gdh converting ammonium into urea was more abundant at higher elevations while ureC converting urea into ammonium was less abundant, which was consistent with soil ammonium contents. Significant correlations were observed between N-cycling genes (ureC, gdh and amoA) and nitrous oxide flux, suggesting that they contributed to community metabolism. Lastly, we found by CCA, Mantel tests and the similarity tests that soil pH, temperature, NH4+–N and vegetation diversity accounted for the majority (81.4%) of microbial community variations, suggesting that these four attributes were major factors affecting soil microbial communities. Based on these observations, we predict that climate changes in the Tibetan grasslands are very likely to change soil microbial community functional structure, with particular impacts on microbial N cycling genes and consequently microbe-mediated soil N dynamics. Twelve samples were collected from four elevations (3200, 3400, 3600 and 3800 m) along a Tibetan grassland; Three replicates in every elevation
Project description:Tibet is one of the most threatened regions by climate warming, thus understanding how its microbial communities function may be of high importance for predicting microbial responses to climate changes. Here, we report a study to profile soil microbial structural genes, which infers functional roles of microbial communities, aiming to explore potential microbial responses to climate changes via a strategy of space-for-time substitution. Using a microarray-based metagenomics tool named GeoChip 4.0, we showed that microbial communities were distinct for most but not all of the sites. Substantial variations were apparent in stress, N and C cycling genes, but they were in line with the functional roles of these genes. sixty-three samples were collected from four elevations (3200,3400,3600 and 3800 m) along a Tibetan alpine meadow; Three replicates in each treatment
Project description:To study whether and how soil nitrogen conditions affect the ecological effects of long-term elevated CO2 on microbial community and soil ecoprocess, here we investigated soil microbial community in a grassland ecosystem subjected to ambient CO2 (aCO2, 368 ppm), elevated CO2 (eCO2, 560 ppm), ambient nitrogen deposition (aN) or elevated nitrogen deposition (eN) treatments for a decade. Under the aN condition, a majority of microbial function genes, as measured by GeoChip 4.0, were increased in relative abundance or remained unchanged by eCO2. Under the eN condition, most of functional genes associated with carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycling, energy processes, organic remediation and stress responses were decreased or remained unchanged by eCO2, while genes associated with antibiotics and metal resistance were increased. The eCO2 effects on fungi and archaea were largely similar under both nitrogen conditions, but differed substantially for bacteria. Coupling of microbial carbon or nitrogen cycling genes, represented by positive percentage and density of gene interaction in association networks, was higher under the aN condition. In accordance, changes of soil CO2 flux, net N mineralization, ammonification and nitrification was higher under the aN condition. Collectively, these results demonstrated that eCO2 effects are contingent on nitrogen conditions, underscoring the difficulty toward predictive modeling of soil ecosystem and ecoprocesses under future climate scenarios and necessitating more detailed studies. Fourty eight samples were collected for four different carbon and nitrogen treatment levels (aCaN,eCaN,aCeN and eCeN) ; Twelve replicates in every elevation
Project description:The experiment at three long-term agricultural experimental stations (namely the N, M and S sites) across northeast to southeast China was setup and operated by the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This experiment belongs to an integrated project (The Soil Reciprocal Transplant Experiment, SRTE) which serves as a platform for a number of studies evaluating climate and cropping effects on soil microbial diversity and its agro-ecosystem functioning. Soil transplant serves as a proxy to simulate climate change in realistic climate regimes. Here, we assessed the effects of soil type, soil transplant and landuse changes on soil microbial communities, which are key drivers in Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Overall design: Eighty one samples were collected from three soil types (Mollisol,Inceptisol,Ultisol) in three sites (Hailun, Fengqiu and Yingtan) along a latitude with reciprocal transplant; With three treatment of bare fallow soil, maize cropping soil and NPK fertilization soil in each site; Three replicates in every treatments.
Project description:Understanding and quantifying the effects of environmental factors influencing the variation of abundance and diversity of microbial communities was a key theme of ecology. For microbial communities, there were two factors proposed in explaining the variation in current theory, which were contemporary environmental heterogeneity and historical events. Here, we report a study to profile soil microbial structure, which infers functional roles of microbial communities, along the latitudinal gradient from the north to the south in China mainland, aiming to explore potential microbial responses to external condition, especially for global climate changes via a strategy of space-for-time substitution. Using a microarray-based metagenomics tool named GeoChip 5.0, we showed that microbial communities were distinct for most but not all of the sites. Using substantial statistical analyses, exploring the dominant factor in influencing the soil microbial communities along the latitudinal gradient. Substantial variations were apparent in nutrient cycling genes, but they were in line with the functional roles of these genes. 300 samples were collected from 30 sites along the latitudinal gradient, with 10 replicates in every site
Project description:Known as “The Oriental Botanic Garden” and the natural gene bank of biological species, Shennongjia is one of the most biologically diverse areas in China and a member of UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The macro-organism resources of shennongjia have been deeply explored. However, the microbial community structure was scarcely detected. In this study, we aim to detedect the microbial community along six sites of Shennonajia Mountain and explore the major controlling factor in shaping microbial community with a microarray-based metagenomics tool named GeoChip 4.2. Seventy-three samples were collected from six sites along the Shennongjia Mountain, with 5-15 replicates in every site
Project description:Higher aridity and more extreme rainfall events in drylands are predicted under climate change. Yet it is unclear how changing precipitation regimes may affect nitrogen (N) cycling, especially in areas with extremely high aridity. Here we investigated soil N isotopic values (δ15N) along a 3200 km aridity gradient and show a hump-shaped relationship between soil δ15N and aridity index (AI) with a threshold at AI=0.32. Also, using a micro-array metageomics tool named GeoChip 5.0, we showed that Variations of nitrification and denitrification gene abundance along the gradient which provide further evidence for the existence of this threshold. Data support the hypothesis that the increase of gaseous N losses is higher than the increase of net plant N accumulation with increasing AI below AI=0.32, while the opposite is favoured above this threshold. Our results suggest the importance of N-cycling microbes in extremely dry areas and the different controlling factors of N cycling on the either side of the threshold.
Project description:Aeolian soil erosion, exacerbated by anthropogenic perturbations, has become one of the most alarming processes of land degradation and desertification. By contrast, dust deposition might confer a potential fertilization effect. To examine how they affect topsoil microbial community, we conducted a study GeoChip techniques in a semiarid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China. We found that microbial communities were significantly (P<0.039) altered and most of microbial functional genes associated with carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycling were decreased or remained unaltered in relative abundance by both erosion and deposition, which might be attributed to acceleration of organic matter mineralization by the breakdown of aggregates during dust transport and deposition. As a result, there were strong correlations between microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes. amyA genes encoding alpha-amylases were significantly (P=0.01) increased by soil deposition, reflecting changes of carbon profiles. Consistently, plant abundance, total nitrogen and total organic carbon were correlated with functional gene composition, revealing the importance of environmental nutrients to soil microbial function potentials. Collectively, our results identified microbial indicator species and functional genes of aeolian soil transfer, and demonstrated that functional genes had higher susceptibility to environmental nutrients than taxonomy. Given the ecological importance of aeolian soil transfer, knowledge gained here are crucial for assessing microbe-mediated nutrient cyclings and human health hazard. The experimental sites comprised of three treatments of control, soil erosion and deposition, with 5 replicates of each treatment.
Project description:Because of severe abiotic limitations, Antarctic soils represent simplified ecosystems, where microorganisms are the principle drivers of nutrient cycling. This relative simplicity makes these ecosystems particularly vulnerable to perturbations, like global warming, and the Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming regions on the planet. However, the consequences of the ongoing warming of Antarctica on microorganisms and the processes they mediate are unknown. Here, using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and qPCR, we report a number of highly consistent changes in microbial community structure and abundance across very disparate sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments following three years of experimental field warming (+ 0.5-2°C). Specifically, we found significant increases in the abundance of fungi and bacteria and in the Alphaproteobacteria-to-Acidobacteria ratio. These alterations were linked to a significant increase in soil respiration. Furthermore, the shifts toward generalist or opportunistic bacterial communities following warming weakened the linkage between bacterial diversity and functional diversity. Warming also increased the abundance of some organisms related to the N-cycle, detected as an increase in the relative abundance of nitrogenase genes via GeoChip microarray analyses. Our results demonstrate that soil microorganisms across a range of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments can respond consistently and rapidly to increasing temperatures, thereby potentially disrupting soil functioning. We conducted in situ warming experiments for three years using open-top chambers (OTCs) at one sub-Antarctic (Falkland Islands, 52ºS) and two Antarctic locations (Signy and Anchorage Islands, 60ºS and 67ºS respectively) (see Supplementary Fig. 1 for a map). OTCs increased annual soil temperature by an average of 0.8°C (at a depth of 5 cm), resulting in 8-43% increase in positive-degree days annually and a decrease in freeze-thaw cycle frequency by an average of 15 cycles per year (8). At each location, we included densely vegetated and bare fell-field soils in the experimental design for a total of six environments. Densely vegetated and bare environments represent two contrasting environments for Antarctic soil microorganisms, with large differences in terms of C and N inputs to soils. Massively parallel pyrosequencing (Roche 454 GS FLX Titanium) of 16S rRNA gene amplicons was used to follow bacterial diversity and community composition [GenBank Accession Numbers: HM641909-HM744649], and functional gene microarrays (GeoChip 2.0)(11) were used to assess changes in functional gene distribution. Bacterial and fungal communities were also quantified using real-time PCR.
Project description:Global warming substantially changes precipitation patterns in the Tibetan plateau, with projection of increased precipitation in southern and northern Tibet but decreased precipitation in the center. Understanding mechanisms of such changes in greenhouse gas emissions is of vital importance in predicting ecosystem feedbacks to climate changes. Nonetheless, it has been hampered by limited knowledge in soil microbial communities, one of the major drivers of greenhouse gas emission. Here, we report a field experiment simulating drying and wetting conditions in the Tibetan grassland. Our field site is located at the Haibei Alpine Grassland Ecosystem Research Station in the northeast of Tibet Plateau, China, and we employed GeoChip 5.0 180K to analyze microbial responses. 18 samples were collected from 3 plots in Haibei Station, with 6 replicates in each plot