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Contrasting Responses of Soil Microbial and Nematode Communities to Warming and Plant Functional Group Removal Across a Post-fire Boreal Forest Successional Gradient
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
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2016 (English)In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 19, no 2, 339-355 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Global warming is causing increases in surface temperatures and has the potential to influence the structure of soil microbial and faunal communities. However, little is known about how warming interacts with other ecosystem drivers, such as plant functional groups or changes associated with succession, to affect the soil community and thereby alter ecosystem functioning. We investigated how experimental warming and the removal of plant functional groups along a post-fire boreal forest successional gradient impacted soil microbial and nematode communities. Our results showed that warming altered soil microbial communities and favored bacterial-based microbial communities, but these effects were mediated by mosses and shrubs, and often varied with successional stage. Meanwhile, the nematode community was generally unaffected by warming and was positively affected by the presence of mosses and shrubs, with these effects mostly independent of successional stage. These results highlight that different groups of soil organisms may respond dissimilarly to interactions between warming and changes to plant functional groups, with likely consequences for ecosystem functioning that may vary with successional stage. Due to the ubiquitous presence of shrubs and mosses in boreal forests, the effects observed in this study are likely to be significant over a large proportion of the terrestrial land surface. Our results demonstrate that it is crucial to consider interactive effects between warming, plant functional groups, and successional stage when predicting soil community responses to global climate change in forested ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19, no 2, 339-355 p.
Keyword [en]
boreal forest, global climate change, nematodes, plant functional group removal, plant-soil teractions, PLFA, post-fire succession, soil microorganisms
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118984DOI: 10.1007/s10021-015-9935-0ISI: 000371797400009OAI: diva2:925850
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Dorrepaal, EllenTeuber, Laurenz M.
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