The Spatial Factor, Rather than Elevated CO2, Controls the Soil Bacterial Community in a Temperate Forest Ecosystem
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The global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is expected to increase continuously over the next century. However, little is known about the responses of soil bacterial communities to elevated CO2 in terrestrial ecosystems. This study aimed to partition the relative influences of CO2, nitrogen (N), and the spatial factor (different sampling plots) on soil bacterial communities at the free-air CO2 enrichment research site in Duke Forest, North Carolina, by two independent techniques: an entirely sequencing-based approach and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Multivariate regression tree analysis demonstrated that the spatial factor could explain more than 70% of the variation in soil bacterial diversity and 20% of the variation in community structure, while CO2 or N treatment explains less than 3% of the variation. For the effects of soil environmental heterogeneity, the diversity estimates were distinguished mainly by the total soil N and C/N ratio. Bacterial diversity estimates were positively correlated with total soil N and negatively correlated with C/N ratio. There was no correlation between the overall bacterial community structures and the soil properties investigated. This study contributes to the information about the effects of elevated CO2 and soil fertility on soil bacterial communities and the environmental factors shaping the distribution patterns of bacterial community diversity and structure in temperate forest soils.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
© 2010 American Society for Microbiology. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.