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Rhizosphere bacteria are more strongly related to plant root traits than fungi in temperate montane forests: insights from closed and open forest patches along an elevational gradient

Merino-Martín, L., Griffiths, R. I., Gweon, H. S., Furget-Bretagnon, C., Oliver, A., Mao, Z., Le Bissonnais, Y. and Stokes, A. (2020) Rhizosphere bacteria are more strongly related to plant root traits than fungi in temperate montane forests: insights from closed and open forest patches along an elevational gradient. Plant and Soil, 450 (1-2). pp. 183-200. ISSN 0032-079X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11104-020-04479-3

Abstract/Summary

Heterogeneous canopies in temperate montane forests affect microclimate and soil characteristics, with important effects on soil microbial communities and related processes. Here, we studied the interactions between plant root traits and soil bacterial and fungal communities in closed forest and gaps in a mixed forest along an elevational gradient in the French Alps (1400, 1700 and 2000 m). Samples were separated into three fractions (plant root endosphere, rhizosphere and bulk soil), to further investigate the influence of plant zones on microbial communities. Bacterial (16S) and fungal (ITS) biodiversity was determined using high throughput sequencing, along with standard measures of soil, litter and root traits. We found that (i) microbial community diversity was higher in gaps than in closed forest because of increased root trait diversity and density; (ii) open versus closed forest patches affected phylogenetic dispersion despite differences in elevations with phylogenetic clustering in closed forest; (iii) the interaction between root traits and microbial communities was stronger for rhizosphere and endosphere compartments than for bulk soil and (iv) bacterial community composition was better explained by root traits than for fungi. Our findings highlight the importance of open gaps versus closed forest patches and associated root traits affecting microbial community structure, particularly for bacterial assemblages that exhibited a stronger interaction with root traits than for fungi.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:89885
Publisher:Springer

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