The microbial taxonomic and functional compositions in three broadleaved forests in temperate and subtropical zones
ABSTRACT: Global warming has shifted climate zones poleward or upward. However, understanding the responses and mechanism of microbial community structure and functions relevant to natural climate zone succession is challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we examined soil microbial community in three broadleaved forests located in the Wulu Mountain (WLM, temperate climate), Funiu Mountain (FNM, at the border of temperate and subtropical climate zones), or Shennongjia Mountain (SNJ, subtropical climate).Soils were characterized for geochemistry, Illumina sequencing was used to determine microbial taxonomic communities and GeoChips 5.0 were used to determine microbial functional genes. Overall design: Thirty samples were collected from three mountains in temperate and subtropical zones, with 10 replicates in every site
INSTRUMENT(S): GeoChip 5.0 [Central South University]
Project description:Global warming has shifted climate zones poleward or upward. However, understanding the responses and mechanism of microbial community structure and functions relevant to natural climate zone succession is challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we examined soil microbial community in three broadleaved forests located in the Wulu Mountain (WLM, temperate climate), Funiu Mountain (FNM, at the border of temperate and subtropical climate zones), or Shennongjia Mountain (SNJ, subtropical climate). Although plant species richness decreased with latitudes, the microbial taxonomic ?-diversity increased with latitudes, concomitant with increases in soil total and available nitrogen and phosphorus contents. Phylogenetic NRI (Net Relatedness Index) values increased from -0.718 in temperate zone (WLM) to 1.042 in subtropical zone (SNJ), showing a shift from over dispersion to clustering likely caused by environmental filtering such as low pH and nutrients. Similarly, taxonomy-based association networks of subtropical forest samples were larger and tighter, suggesting clustering. In contrast, functional ?-diversity was similar among three forests, but functional gene networks of the FNM forest significantly (P < 0.050) differed from the others. A significant correlation (R = 0.616, P < 0.001) between taxonomic and functional ?-diversity was observed only in the FNM forest, suggesting low functional redundancy at the border of climate zones. Using a strategy of space-for-time substitution, we predict that poleward climate range shift will lead to decreased microbial taxonomic ?-diversities in broadleaved forest.
Project description:The dramatic climate fluctuations of the late Quaternary have influenced the diversity and composition of macroorganism communities, but how they structure belowground microbial communities is less well known. Fungi constitute an important component of soil microorganism communities. They play an important role in biodiversity maintenance, community assembly, and ecosystem functioning, and differ from many macroorganisms in many traits. Here, we examined soil fungal communities in Chinese temperate, subtropical, and tropic forests using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the fungal ITS1 region. The relative effect of late Quaternary climate change and contemporary environment (plant, soil, current climate, and geographic distance) on the soil fungal community was analyzed. The richness of the total fungal community, along with saprotrophic, ectomycorrhizal (EM), and pathogenic fungal communities, was influenced primarily by the contemporary environment (plant and/or soil) but not by late Quaternary climate change. Late Quaternary climate change acted in concert with the contemporary environment to shape total, saprotrophic, EM, and pathogenic fungal community compositions and with a stronger effect in temperate forest than in tropic-subtropical forest ecosystems. Some contemporary environmental factors influencing total, saprotrophic, EM, and pathogenic fungal communities in temperate and tropic-subtropical forests were different. We demonstrate that late Quaternary climate change can help to explain current soil fungal community composition and argue that climatic legacies can help to predict soil fungal responses to climate change.
Project description:To understand soil microbial community stability and temporal turnover in response to climate change, a long-term soil transplant experiment was conducted in three agricultural experiment stations over large transects from a warm temperate zone (Fengqiu station in central China) to a subtropical zone (Yingtan station in southern China) and a cold temperate zone (Hailun station in northern China). Annual soil samples were collected from these three stations from 2005 to 2011, and microbial communities were analyzed by sequencing microbial 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons using Illumina MiSeq technology. Our results revealed a distinctly differential pattern of microbial communities in both northward and southward transplantations, along with an increase in microbial richness with climate cooling and a corresponding decrease with climate warming. The microbial succession rate was estimated by the slope (w value) of linear regression of a log-transformed microbial community similarity with time (time-decay relationship). Compared with the low turnover rate of microbial communities in situ (w=0.046, P<0.001), the succession rate at the community level was significantly higher in the northward transplant (w=0.058, P<0.001) and highest in the southward transplant (w=0.094, P<0.001). Climate warming lead to a faster succession rate of microbial communities as well as lower species richness and compositional changes compared with in situ and climate cooling, which may be related to the high metabolic rates and intense competition under higher temperature. This study provides new insights into the impacts of climate change on the fundamental temporal scaling of soil microbial communities and microbial phylogenetic biodiversity.
Project description:Decomposition of plant residues is largely mediated by soil-dwelling microorganisms whose activities are influenced by both climate conditions and properties of the soil. However, a comprehensive understanding of their relative importance remains elusive, mainly because traditional methods, such as soil incubation and environmental surveys, have a limited ability to differentiate between the combined effects of climate and soil. Here, we performed a large-scale reciprocal soil transplantation experiment, whereby microbial communities associated with straw decomposition were examined in three initially identical soils placed in parallel in three climate regions of China (red soil, Chao soil, and black soil, located in midsubtropical, warm-temperate, and cold-temperate zones). Maize straws buried in mesh bags were sampled at 0.5, 1, and 2 years after the burial and subjected to chemical, physical, and microbiological analyses, e.g., phospholipid fatty acid analysis for microbial abundance, community-level physiological profiling, and 16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, respectively, for functional and phylogenic diversity. Results of aggregated boosted tree analysis show that location rather soil is the primary determining factor for the rate of straw decomposition and structures of the associated microbial communities. Principal component analysis indicates that the straw communities are primarily grouped by location at any of the three time points. In contrast, microbial communities in bulk soil remained closely related to one another for each soil. Together, our data suggest that climate (specifically, geographic location) has stronger effects than soil on straw decomposition; moreover, the successive process of microbial communities in soils is slower than those in straw residues in response to climate changes.
Project description:While vegetation has intensively been surveyed on mountain summits, limited knowledge exists about the diversity and community structure of soil biota. Here, we study how climatic variables, vegetation, parent material, soil properties, and slope aspect affect the soil microbiome on 10 GLORIA (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments) mountain summits ranging from the lower alpine to the nival zone in Switzerland. At these summits we sampled soils from all four aspects and examined how the bacterial and fungal communities vary by using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. We found that mountain summit soils contain highly diverse microbial communities with a total of 10,406 bacterial and 6,291 fungal taxa. Bacterial ?-diversity increased with increasing soil pH and decreased with increasing elevation, whereas fungal ?-diversity did not change significantly. Soil pH was the strongest predictor for microbial ?-diversity. Bacterial and fungal community structures exhibited a significant positive relationship with plant communities, indicating that summits with a more distinct plant composition also revealed more distinct microbial communities. The influence of elevation was stronger than aspect on the soil microbiome. Several microbial taxa responded to elevation and soil pH. Chloroflexi and Mucoromycota were significantly more abundant on summits at higher elevations, whereas the relative abundance of Basidiomycota and Agaricomycetes decreased with elevation. Most bacterial OTUs belonging to the phylum Acidobacteria were indicators for siliceous parent material and several OTUs belonging to the phylum Planctomycetes were associated with calcareous soils. The trends for fungi were less clear. Indicator OTUs belonging to the genera Mortierella and Naganishia showed a mixed response to parent material, demonstrating their ubiquitous and opportunistic behaviour in soils. Overall, fungal communities responded weakly to abiotic and biotic factors. In contrast, bacterial communities were strongly influenced by environmental changes suggesting they will be strongly affected by future climate change and associated temperature increase and an upward migration of vegetation. Our results provide the first insights into the soil microbiome of mountain summits in the European Alps that are shaped as a result of highly variable local environmental conditions and may help to predict responses of the soil biota to global climate change.
Project description:The theory of island biogeography predicts that area and age explain species richness patterns (or alpha diversity) in insular habitats. Using a unique natural phenomenon, pumice rafting, we measured the influence of area, age, and oceanic climate on patterns of species richness. Pumice rafts are formed simultaneously when submarine volcanoes erupt, the pumice clasts breakup irregularly, forming irregularly shaped pumice stones which while floating through the ocean are colonized by marine biota. We analyze two eruption events and more than 5,000 pumice clasts collected from 29 sites and three climatic zones. Overall, the older and larger pumice clasts held more species. Pumice clasts arriving in tropical and subtropical climates showed this same trend, where in temperate locations species richness (alpha diversity) increased with area but decreased with age. Beta diversity analysis of the communities forming on pumice clasts that arrived in different climatic zones showed that tropical and subtropical clasts transported similar communities, while species composition on temperate clasts differed significantly from both tropical and subtropical arrivals. Using these thousands of insular habitats, we find strong evidence that area and age but also climatic conditions predict the fundamental dynamics of species richness colonizing pumice clasts.
Project description:Soil types heavily influence ecological dynamics. It remains controversial to what extent soil types shape microbial responses to land management changes, largely due to lack of in-depth comparison across various soil types. Here, we collected samples from three major zonal soil types spanning from cold temperate to subtropical climate zones. We examined bacterial and fungal community structures, as well as microbial functional genes. Different soil types had distinct microbial biomass levels and community compositions. Five years of maize cropping (growing corn or maize) changed the bacterial community composition of the Ultisol soil type and the fungal composition of the Mollisol soil type but had little effect on the microbial composition of the Inceptisol soil type. Meanwhile, 5 years of fertilization resulted in soil acidification. Microbial compositions of the Mollisol and Ultisol, but not the Inceptisol, were changed and correlated (P < 0.05) with soil pH. These results demonstrated the critical role of soil type in determining microbial responses to land management changes. We also found that soil nitrification potentials correlated with the total abundance of nitrifiers and that soil heterotrophic respiration correlated with the total abundance of carbon degradation genes, suggesting that changes in microbial community structure had altered ecosystem processes. IMPORTANCE Microbial communities are essential drivers of soil functional processes such as nitrification and heterotrophic respiration. Although there is initial evidence revealing the importance of soil type in shaping microbial communities, there has been no in-depth, comprehensive survey to robustly establish it as a major determinant of microbial community composition, functional gene structure, or ecosystem functioning. We examined bacterial and fungal community structures using Illumina sequencing, microbial functional genes using GeoChip, microbial biomass using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, as well as functional processes of soil nitrification potential and CO2 efflux. We demonstrated the critical role of soil type in determining microbial responses to land use changes at the continental level. Our findings underscore the inherent difficulty in generalizing ecosystem responses across landscapes and suggest that assessments of community feedback must take soil types into consideration. Author Video: An author video summary of this article is available.
Project description:Qinling-Daba Mountains (QDM), which are located in central China, are considered as a significant climatic boundary delimiting north and south. However, the influence of complex topographic and climatic features makes it challenging to identify the exact location of the boundary, and different scholars delimit the boundary with significant differences. In addition, there is a gradual transition between climate zones, and no real dividing line exists. To explore the climate regionalization of the QDM, we focused on the identification of the transition zone rather than the exact location of the boundary between subtropical and temperate zones. Thus, we proposed a new workflow for climate regionalization based on the Geodetector-SVM model (a combination of Geodetector and support vector machines). First, we selected the spatial distribution data of six vegetation types (including typical subtropical and temperate vegetation) to represent the spatial distribution of climatic zones. Environmental factors (such as topography, temperature, precipitation, and soil) were used as explanatory variables for the spatial distribution of vegetation. Second, using the Geodetector-SVM model, the distribution characteristics and suitable environment of typical vegetation in different climatic zones are comprehensively explored. By analyzing the multiple boundaries between subtropical and temperate vegetation, the location of the transition zone of the QDM was identified. The results revealed the following: (1) The new workflow for climate regionalization based on the Geodetector-SVM model is powerful for the identification of the transition zone. The q-statistics are generally greater than 0.35, indicating that the transition zone between subtropical and temperate zones can highly reflect the character of the QDM; (2) From west to east, the transition zone mainly passes through the cities of Heishui County, Kang County, Liuba County, and Yichuan County and is approximately 30 km wide.
Project description:Knowledge on the relationships between species functional traits and environmental filters is key to understanding the mechanisms underlying the current patterns of biodiversity loss from a multi-taxa perspective. The aim of this study was to identify the main environmental factors driving the functional structure of a terrestrial vertebrate community (mammals, breeding birds, reptiles and amphibians) in a temperate mountain system (the Cantabrian Mountains; NW Spain). Based on the Spanish Inventory of Terrestrial Vertebrate Species, we selected three functional traits (feeding guild, habitat use type and daily activity) and defined, for each trait, a set of functional groups considering vertebrate species with common functional characteristics. The community functional structure was evaluated by means of two functional indexes indicative of functional redundancy (species richness within each functional group) and functional diversity. Ordinary least squares regression and conditional autoregressive models were applied to determine the response of community functional structure to environmental filters (climate, topography, land cover, physiological state of vegetation, landscape heterogeneity and human influence). The results revealed that both functional redundancy and diversity of terrestrial vertebrates were non-randomly distributed across space; rather, they were driven by environmental filters. Climate, topography and human influence were the best predictors of community functional structure. The influence of land cover, physiological state of vegetation and landscape heterogeneity varied among functional groups. The results of this study are useful to identify the general assembly rules of species functional traits and to illustrate the importance of environmental filters in determining functional structure of terrestrial vertebrate communities in mountain systems.
Project description:Global warming is likely leading to species' distributional shifts, resulting in changes in local community compositions and diversity patterns. In this study, we applied species distribution models to evaluate the potential impacts of temperature increase on ant communities in Korean temperate forests, by testing hypotheses that 1) the risk of extinction of forest ant species would increase over time, and 2) the changes in species distribution ranges could drive upward movements of ant communities and further alter patterns of species richness. We sampled ant communities at 335 evenly distributed sites across South Korea and modelled the future distribution range for each species using generalized additive models. To account for spatial autocorrelation, autocovariate regressions were conducted prior to generalized additive models. Among 29 common ant species, 12 species were estimated to shrink their suitable geographic areas, whereas five species would benefit from future global warming. Species richness was highest at low altitudes in the current period, and it was projected to be highest at the mid-altitudes in the 2080s, resulting in an upward movement of 4.9 m yr-1. This altered the altitudinal pattern of species richness from a monotonic-decrease curve (common in temperate regions) to a bell-shaped curve (common in tropical regions). Overall, ant communities in temperate forests are vulnerable to the on-going global warming and their altitudinal movements are similar to other faunal communities.