Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-243
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
14 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).
Divergence of dominant factors on soil microbial communities and functions in forest ecosystems along a climatic gradient
Zhiwei Xu1, Guirui Yu2,3, Xinyu Zhang2,3, Nianpeng He2,3, Qiufeng Wang2,3, Shengzhong Wang1, Xiaofeng Xu4, Ruili Wang5, and Ning Zhao6 1College of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, 130024, China
2Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China
4Biology Department, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
5College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi Province 712100, China
6Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Abstract. Soil microorganisms play an important role in regulating nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the studies conducted thus far have been confined to a single forest biome or have focused on one or two controlling factors, and few have dealt with the integrated effects of climate, vegetation, and soil substrate availability on soil microbial communities and functions among different forests. In this study, we used phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to investigate soil microbial community structure, and extracellular enzymatic activities to evaluate the functional potential of soil microbes of different types of forests in three different climatic zones along the North-South transect in eastern China (NSTEC). In general, soil enzyme activities and microbial PLFAs were higher in primary forests than in secondary forests in temperate and warm temperate regions. In the subtropical region, soil enzyme activities were lower in the primary forests than in the secondary forests and microbial PLFAs did not differ significantly between primary and secondary forests. The microbial PLFAs and enzyme activities differed considerably between broadleaved and coniferous forests. Different species of coniferous trees may cause variations in soil microbial PLFAs and enzyme activities. Both climate and forest type had significant effects on soil enzyme activities and microbial communities with a considerable interactive effect. Litter nutrients made an important contribution to variations in the soil microbial communities and enzyme activities in temperate zones, while soil micro-climate and nutrients were the main controls on the soil microbial community structure and enzymatic activities in warm temperate and subtropical zones. Our results indicate that the main controls on soil microbes and functions vary across forest ecosystems in different climatic zones, and that the effects of soil moisture content, soil temperature, and the soil N/P ratio were considerable. This information will add value to modeling of microbial processes and will contribute to carbon cycling in large-scale carbon models.

Citation: Xu, Z., Yu, G., Zhang, X., He, N., Wang, Q., Wang, S., Xu, X., Wang, R., and Zhao, N.: Divergence of dominant factors on soil microbial communities and functions in forest ecosystems along a climatic gradient, Biogeosciences Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-243, in review, 2017.
Zhiwei Xu et al.
Zhiwei Xu et al.

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Short summary
The forest types with specific soil conditions supported the development of distinct soil microbial communities with variable functions.Our results indicate that the main controls on soil microbes and functions vary across forest ecosystems in different climatic zones. This information will add value to modeling of microbial processes and will contribute to carbon cycling in large-scale carbon scale.
The forest types with specific soil conditions supported the development of distinct soil...
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