Project description:Sustained climate warming increases the frequency and strength of soil freeze-thaw (FT) events, which strongly affect the properties of soil microbial communities. To explore the responses and mechanisms of the frequency and strength of freeze-thaw events on soil microbial communities, a lab-scale FT test was conducted on forest soil in permafrost region from the Daxing'an Mountains, China. The number of FT cycles (FTN) had a greater effect on microbial communities than FT temperature fluctuation (FTF). The FTN and FTF explained 20.9 and 10.8% of the variation in microbial community structure, respectively, and 22.9 and 11.6% of the variation in enzyme activities, respectively. The total and subgroup microbial biomass, the ratio of fungi to bacteria (F/B), and C- and N-hydrolyzing enzyme activities all decreased with an increase in FTN. Among microbial groups, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were the most sensitive to FT events. Based on the changes of F/B and AMF, the reduction in soil carbon sequestration caused by frequent FT events can be explained from a perspective of microorganisms. Based on redundancy analysis and Mental Test, soil moisture, total organic carbon, and total nitrogen were the major factors affecting microorganisms in FT events. In the forest ecosystem, soil water and fertilizer were important factors to resist the damage of FT to microorganism, and sufficient water and fertilizer can lighten the damage of FT events to microorganisms. As a result of this study, the understanding of the responses of soil microorganisms to the variation in FT patterns caused by climate changes has increased, which will lead to better predictions of the effects of likely climate change on soil microorganisms.
Project description:It is important to understand the effects of environmental factors on secondary forest assembly for effective afforestation and vegetation restoration. We studied 24 20?m?×?20?m quadrats of natural secondary forest in the southern Taihang Mountains. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and two-way indicator hydrocarbon analysis were used to analyse the relationship between community vegetation and environmental factors. The CCA showed that 13 terrain and soil variables shared 68.17% of the total variance. The principal environmental variables, based on the most parsimonious CCA model, were (in order) elevation, soil total N, soil gravel content, slope, soil electrical conductivity, and pH. Samples were clustered into four forest types, with forest diversity affected by elevation, nutrients, and water gradients. Topographical variables affected forest assembly more than soil variables. Species diversity was evaluated using the Shannon-Wiener, Simpson's diversity, and Pielou's evenness indexes. The environmental factors that affected species distribution had different effects on species diversity. The vegetation-environment relationship in the southern region was different than the central region of the Taihang Mountains, and vegetation restoration was at an early stage. The terrain of the southern region, especially elevation and slope, should be considered for vegetation restoration and conservation.
Project description:Altitude is a determining factor of ecosystem properties and processes in mountains. This study investigated the changes in the concentrations of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) and their ratios in four key ecosystem components (forest floor litter, fine roots, soil, and soil microorganisms) along an altitudinal gradient (from 50 m to 950 m a.s.l.) in subtropical China. The results showed that soil organic C and microbial biomass C concentrations increased linearly with increasing altitude. Similar trends were observed for concentrations of total soil N and microbial biomass N. In contrast, the N concentration of litter and fine roots decreased linearly with altitude. With increasing altitude, litter, fine roots, and soil C:N ratios increased linearly, while the C:N ratio of soil microbial biomass did not change significantly. Phosphorus concentration and C:P and N:P ratios of all ecosystem components generally had nonlinear relationships with altitude. Our results indicate that the altitudinal pattern of plant and soil nutrient status differs among ecosystem components and that the relative importance of P vs. N limitation for ecosystem functions and processes shifts along altitudinal gradients.
Project description:More than 200 years ago, Alexander von Humboldt reported that tropical plant species richness decreased with increasing elevation and decreasing temperature. Surprisingly, coordinated patterns in plant, bacterial, and fungal diversity on tropical mountains have not yet been observed, despite the central role of soil microorganisms in terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecology. We studied an Andean transect traversing 3.5 km in elevation to test whether the species diversity and composition of tropical forest plants, soil bacteria, and fungi follow similar biogeographical patterns with shared environmental drivers. We found coordinated changes with elevation in all three groups: species richness declined as elevation increased, and the compositional dissimilarity among communities increased with increased separation in elevation, although changes in plant diversity were larger than in bacteria and fungi. Temperature was the dominant driver of these diversity gradients, with weak influences of edaphic properties, including soil pH. The gradients in microbial diversity were strongly correlated with the activities of enzymes involved in organic matter cycling, and were accompanied by a transition in microbial traits towards slower-growing, oligotrophic taxa at higher elevations. We provide the first evidence of coordinated temperature-driven patterns in the diversity and distribution of three major biotic groups in tropical ecosystems: soil bacteria, fungi, and plants. These findings suggest that interrelated and fundamental patterns of plant and microbial communities with shared environmental drivers occur across landscape scales. These patterns are revealed where soil pH is relatively constant, and have implications for tropical forest communities under future climate change.
Project description:The effects of environmental and species structure on soil eukaryotic microbes inhabiting semi-arid mountains remain unclear. Furthermore, whether community assembly differs in a variety of soil habitat types, for example, artificial forest, artificial bush, farmland, and natural grassland, is not well understood. Here, we explored species diversity and composition of soil eukaryotic microbes south of the Taihang Mountains (mid-western region of China) using Illumina sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene (V4) region on the MiSeq platform. The results suggest that the forest soil habitat type improved the diversity and abundance of soil eukaryotic microbes that will benefit the restoration of degraded soil. The SAR (Stramenopiles, Alveolates, Rhizaria) supergroup and Metazoa were the dominant soil eukaryotic microbial groups at the phylum level. About 26% of all operational taxonomic units were common among the different soil habitat types. The O-elements, water content, soil organic matter, and elevation significantly influenced the abundance of soil eukaryote communities (P < 0.05). Our findings provide some reference for the effectiveness of local ecological restoration and the establishment of a soil eukaryotic microbe resource databases in a semi-arid area.
Project description:Separating the effects of environmental factors and spatial distance on microbial composition is difficult when these factors covary. We examined the composition of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi along elevation gradients on geographically distant mountains to clarify the effect of climate at the regional scale. Soil cores were collected from various forest types along an elevation gradient in southwestern Japan. Fungal species were identified by the internal transcribed spacer regions of the rDNA using direct sequencing. The occurrence of fungal species in this study was compared with a previous study conducted on a mountain separated by ?550?km. In total, we recorded 454 EM fungi from 330 of 350 soil cores. Forty-seven fungal species (?20% of the total excluding singletons) were shared between two mountains, mostly between similar forest types on both mountains. Variation partitioning in redundancy analysis revealed that climate explained the largest variance in EM fungal composition. The similarity of forest tree composition, which is usually determined by climatic conditions, was positively correlated with the similarity of the EM fungal composition. However, the lack of large host effects implied that communities of forest trees and EM fungi may be determined independently by climate. Our data provide important insights that host plants and mutualistic fungi may respond to climate change idiosyncratically, potentially altering carbon and nutrient cycles in relation to the plant-fungus associations.
Project description:Species pool hypothesis is broadly known and frequently tested in various regions and vegetation types. However it has not been tested in the arid Xinjiang region of China due to lack of data. Here with systematic data from references and field survey, we comprehensively examined species pool hypothesis in this region. Took species richness in 0.1° × 0.1° grid cells as regional species richness (RSR) which were obtained from the distribution maps of vascular plant species, and took species diversity of 190 and 103 plots in forest and grassland biomes across Xinjiang as local species richness (LSR), together with the digitalized soil pH and climate data, we tested the species pool hypothesis in this region. We found that: (1) the average RSR was higher in mountains than that in basins and it was negatively correlated with soil pH in mountains while positively correlated with soil pH in basins in Xinjiang; (2) RSR showed a positive correlation with mean annual precipitation (MAP) while showed a hump-shaped pattern with mean annual temperature (MAT); and the changing patterns of LSR were different for forest and grassland along the geographical and climate gradients; (3) LSR of forest was more affected by RSR than by climate, while on the contrary, LSR of grassland was more affected by climate than by RSR. Our results validated the species pool hypothesis in revealing that RSR had a significant role in shaping LSR patterns in addition to climate. We concluded that the relative effects of climate vs. RSR on LSR differed markedly between the forest and grassland communities across Xinjiang. Our results also showed that RSR revealed a contrasting relationship with soil pH in mountains and in basins, which might reflect differences in evolutionary processes of various habitats. In summary, our research systematically analyzed the correlation of species richness in regional and local scales in Xinjiang which provides more insights into the understanding of species pool hypothesis.
Project description:To predict biotic responses to disturbances in forest environments, it is important to examine both the thermophysical properties of forest soils and the diversity of microorganisms that these soils contain. To predict the effects of climate change on forests, in particular, it is essential to understand the interactions between the soil surface, the air, and the biological diversity in the soil. In this study, the temperature and thermal properties of forest soil at three depths at a site in the Haean basin of Korea were measured over a period of four months. Metagenomic analyses were also carried out to ascertain the diversity of microorganisms inhabiting the soil. The thermal diffusivity of the soil at the study site was 5.9 × 10(-8) m(2) · s(-1). The heat flow through the soil resulted from the cooling and heating processes acting on the surface layers of the soils. The heat productivity in the soil varied through time. The phylum Proteobacteria predominated at all three soil depths, with members of Proteobacteria forming a substantial fraction (25.64 to 39.29%). The diversity and richness of microorganisms in the soil were both highest at the deepest depth, 90 cm, where the soil temperature fluctuation was the minimum.
Project description:As an ecological unit, coarse woody debris (CWD) plays an essential role in productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, community regeneration and biodiversity. However, thus far, the information on quantification the decomposition and nutrient content of CWD in forest ecosystems remains considerably limited. In this study, we conducted a long-term (1996-2013) study on decay and nutrient dynamics of CWD for evaluating accurately the ecological value of CWD on the Huoditang Experimental Forest Farm in the Qinling Mountains, China. The results demonstrated that there was a strong correlation between forest biomass and CWD mass. The single exponential decay model well fit the CWD density loss at this site, and as the CWD decomposed, the CWD density decreased significantly. Annual temperature and precipitation were all significantly correlated with the annual mass decay rate. The K contents and the C/N ratio of the CWD decreased as the CWD decayed, but the C, N, P, Ca and Mg contents increased. We observed a significant CWD decay effect on the soil C, N and Mg contents, especially the soil C content. The soil N, P, K, Ca and Mg contents exhibited large fluctuations, but the variation had no obvious regularity and changed with different decay times. The results showed that CWD was a critical component of nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. Further research is needed to determine the effect of diameter, plant tissue components, secondary wood compounds, and decomposer organisms on the CWD decay rates in the Qinling Mountains, which will be beneficial to clarifying the role of CWD in carbon cycles of forest ecosystems.
Project description:Characterizing soil microbial community is important for forest ecosystem management and microbial utilization. The microbial community in the soil beneath Camellia oleifera, an important woody edible oil tree in China, has not been reported before. Here, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S and ITS rRNA genes to study the species diversity of microorganisms in C. oleifera forest land in South China. The results showed that the rhizosphere soil had higher physicochemical properties, enzyme activities and microbial biomass than did the non-rhizosphere soil. The rhizosphere soil microorganisms had a higher carbon source utilization capacity than the non-rhizosphere soil microorganisms, and attained the highest utilization capacity in summer. The soil microbial community of C. oleifera was characterized by rich ester and amino acid carbon sources that played major roles in the principal functional components of the community. In summer, soil microbes were abundant in species richness and very active in community function. Rhizosphere microorganisms were more diverse than non-root systems in species diversity, which was associated with soil pH, Available phosphorous (AP) and Urease (URE). These results indicated that microbial resources were rich in rhizosphere soil. A priority should be given to the rhizosphere microorganisms in the growing season in developing and utilizing soil microorganisms in C. oleifera plantation. It is possible to promote the growth of C. oleifera by changing soil microbial community, including carbon source species, pH, AP, and URE. Our findings provide valuable information to guide microbial isolation and culturing to manage C. oleifera land.