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Title: Two key features influencing community assembly processes at regional scale: Initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions

Abstract

Belowground microbial communities strongly influence ecosystem function such that predicting function may rely on understanding ecological processes that assemble communities. Uncertainty remains, however, in what governs the relative contributions of different ecological processes. To help fill this knowledge gap we test the general hypothesis that both initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions govern the relative contributions of different ecological assembly processes. To do so we leveraged regional-scale nutrient and organic matter addition experiments and used soil organic matter (SOM) as a proxy of integrated soil environmental conditions. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that both the initial amount of SOM and the degree of change in SOM—in response to nutrient addition—influenced the relative contributions of different ecological assembly processes. These influences were most clearly observed at the regional scale, suggesting potential scale dependence. More specifically, nutrient additions homogenized bacterial community composition due to enhanced influences of homogenizing dispersal when SOM content was initially high. In contrast, nutrient additions led to divergence in community composition due to variable selection when initial SOM was low and/or when SOM increased significantly in response to nutrient additions. Our findings indicate important connections among initial conditions, degree of change in environmental variables,more » and microbial community assembly processes that may influence ecosystem processes. These conceptual inferences highlight a need to strengthen connections between ecological theory and biogeochemical modeling.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China
  2. Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Ecosystem Sciences Team, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1494611
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-129546
Journal ID: ISSN 0962-1083
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Molecular Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 27; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 0962-1083
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Feng, Youzhi, Chen, Ruirui, Stegen, James C., Guo, Zhiying, Zhang, Jianwei, Li, Zhongpei, and Lin, Xiangui. Two key features influencing community assembly processes at regional scale: Initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1111/mec.14914.
Feng, Youzhi, Chen, Ruirui, Stegen, James C., Guo, Zhiying, Zhang, Jianwei, Li, Zhongpei, & Lin, Xiangui. Two key features influencing community assembly processes at regional scale: Initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions. United States. doi:10.1111/mec.14914.
Feng, Youzhi, Chen, Ruirui, Stegen, James C., Guo, Zhiying, Zhang, Jianwei, Li, Zhongpei, and Lin, Xiangui. Sun . "Two key features influencing community assembly processes at regional scale: Initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions". United States. doi:10.1111/mec.14914.
@article{osti_1494611,
title = {Two key features influencing community assembly processes at regional scale: Initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions},
author = {Feng, Youzhi and Chen, Ruirui and Stegen, James C. and Guo, Zhiying and Zhang, Jianwei and Li, Zhongpei and Lin, Xiangui},
abstractNote = {Belowground microbial communities strongly influence ecosystem function such that predicting function may rely on understanding ecological processes that assemble communities. Uncertainty remains, however, in what governs the relative contributions of different ecological processes. To help fill this knowledge gap we test the general hypothesis that both initial state and degree of change in environmental conditions govern the relative contributions of different ecological assembly processes. To do so we leveraged regional-scale nutrient and organic matter addition experiments and used soil organic matter (SOM) as a proxy of integrated soil environmental conditions. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that both the initial amount of SOM and the degree of change in SOM—in response to nutrient addition—influenced the relative contributions of different ecological assembly processes. These influences were most clearly observed at the regional scale, suggesting potential scale dependence. More specifically, nutrient additions homogenized bacterial community composition due to enhanced influences of homogenizing dispersal when SOM content was initially high. In contrast, nutrient additions led to divergence in community composition due to variable selection when initial SOM was low and/or when SOM increased significantly in response to nutrient additions. Our findings indicate important connections among initial conditions, degree of change in environmental variables, and microbial community assembly processes that may influence ecosystem processes. These conceptual inferences highlight a need to strengthen connections between ecological theory and biogeochemical modeling.},
doi = {10.1111/mec.14914},
journal = {Molecular Ecology},
issn = {0962-1083},
number = 24,
volume = 27,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}