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Resistance and resilience of the forest soil microbiome to logging-associated compaction


Hartmann, Martin; Niklaus, Pascal A; Zimmermann, Stephan; Schmutz, Stefan; Kremer, Johann; Abarenkov, Kessy; Lüscher, Peter; Widmer, Franco; Frey, Beat (2014). Resistance and resilience of the forest soil microbiome to logging-associated compaction. The ISME journal, 8(1):226-244.

Abstract

Soil compaction is a major disturbance associated with logging, but we lack a fundamental understanding of how this affects the soil microbiome. We assessed the structural resistance and resilience of the microbiome using a high-throughput pyrosequencing approach in differently compacted soils at two forest sites and correlated these findings with changes in soil physical properties and functions. Alterations in soil porosity after compaction strongly limited the air and water conductivity. Compaction significantly reduced abundance, increased diversity, and persistently altered the structure of the microbiota. Fungi were less resistant and resilient than bacteria; clayey soils were less resistant and resilient than sandy soils. The strongest effects were observed in soils with unfavorable moisture conditions, where air and water conductivities dropped well below 10% of their initial value. Maximum impact was observed around 6-12 months after compaction, and microbial communities showed resilience in lightly but not in severely compacted soils 4 years post disturbance. Bacteria capable of anaerobic respiration, including sulfate, sulfur, and metal reducers of the Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, were significantly associated with compacted soils. Compaction detrimentally affected ectomycorrhizal species, whereas saprobic and parasitic fungi proportionally increased in compacted soils. Structural shifts in the microbiota were accompanied by significant changes in soil processes, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide, and increased methane and nitrous oxide emissions from compacted soils. This study demonstrates that physical soil disturbance during logging induces profound and long-lasting changes in the soil microbiome and associated soil functions, raising awareness regarding sustainable management of economically driven logging operations.

Abstract

Soil compaction is a major disturbance associated with logging, but we lack a fundamental understanding of how this affects the soil microbiome. We assessed the structural resistance and resilience of the microbiome using a high-throughput pyrosequencing approach in differently compacted soils at two forest sites and correlated these findings with changes in soil physical properties and functions. Alterations in soil porosity after compaction strongly limited the air and water conductivity. Compaction significantly reduced abundance, increased diversity, and persistently altered the structure of the microbiota. Fungi were less resistant and resilient than bacteria; clayey soils were less resistant and resilient than sandy soils. The strongest effects were observed in soils with unfavorable moisture conditions, where air and water conductivities dropped well below 10% of their initial value. Maximum impact was observed around 6-12 months after compaction, and microbial communities showed resilience in lightly but not in severely compacted soils 4 years post disturbance. Bacteria capable of anaerobic respiration, including sulfate, sulfur, and metal reducers of the Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, were significantly associated with compacted soils. Compaction detrimentally affected ectomycorrhizal species, whereas saprobic and parasitic fungi proportionally increased in compacted soils. Structural shifts in the microbiota were accompanied by significant changes in soil processes, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide, and increased methane and nitrous oxide emissions from compacted soils. This study demonstrates that physical soil disturbance during logging induces profound and long-lasting changes in the soil microbiome and associated soil functions, raising awareness regarding sustainable management of economically driven logging operations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:forest soil compaction, soil physical characteristics, microbial diversity, ribosomal pyrotags, greenhouse gas fluxes, soil functions
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 09:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:04
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1751-7362
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2013.141

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