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Title: Fire affects the taxonomic and functional composition of soil microbial communities, with cascading effects on grassland ecosystem functioning

Abstract

Fire is a crucial event regulating the structure and functioning of many ecosystems. Yet few studies have focused on how fire affects taxonomic and functional diversities of soil microbial communities, along with changes in plant communities and soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here, we analyze these effects in a grassland ecosystem 9 months after an experimental fire at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment site in California, USA. Fire altered soil microbial communities considerably, with community assembly process analysis showing that environmental selection pressure was higher in burned sites. However, a small subset of highly connected taxa was able to withstand the disturbance. In addition, fire decreased the relative abundances of most functional genes associated with C degradation and N cycling, implicating a slowdown of microbial processes linked to soil C and N dynamics. In contrast, fire stimulated above- and belowground plant growth, likely enhancing plant-microbe competition for soil inorganic N, which was reduced by a factor of about 2. To synthesize those findings, we performed structural equation modeling, which showed that plants but not microbial communities were responsible for significantly higher soil respiration rates in burned sites. Together, our results demonstrate that fire 'reboots' the grassland ecosystem bymore » differentially regulating plant and soil microbial communities, leading to significant changes in soil C and N dynamics.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [3];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9]
  1. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Joint Lab. of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment
  2. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Inst. for Environmental Genomics
  3. Carnegie Inst. for Science, Stanford, CA (United States)
  4. Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo MI (United States)
  5. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research– UFZ, Halle (Germany)
  6. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
  7. Inst. d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement de Paris, Paris (France); Sorbonne Univ., Paris (France); Univ. Paris Diderot, Paris (France). Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Inst. National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
  8. Univ. de Lyon, Villeurbanne (France). Lab. d'Ecologie Microbienne, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Inst. National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
  9. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Joint Lab. of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment; Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Inst. for Environmental Genomics; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); Packard Foundation; Morgan Family Foundation; French CNRS/INSU–EC2CO Program
OSTI Identifier:
1580930
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1572112
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; 41430856; 41877048; 41825016; XDB15010102
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Californian grasslands; climate change; fire; GeoChip; high‐throughput sequencing; microbial communities

Citation Formats

Yang, Sihang, Zheng, Qiaoshu, Yang, Yunfeng, Yuan, Mengting, Ma, Xingyu, Chiariello, Nona R., Docherty, Kathryn M., Field, Christopher B., Gutknecht, Jessica L. M., Hungate, Bruce A., Niboyet, Audrey, Le Roux, Xavier, and Zhou, Jizhong. Fire affects the taxonomic and functional composition of soil microbial communities, with cascading effects on grassland ecosystem functioning. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14852.
Yang, Sihang, Zheng, Qiaoshu, Yang, Yunfeng, Yuan, Mengting, Ma, Xingyu, Chiariello, Nona R., Docherty, Kathryn M., Field, Christopher B., Gutknecht, Jessica L. M., Hungate, Bruce A., Niboyet, Audrey, Le Roux, Xavier, & Zhou, Jizhong. Fire affects the taxonomic and functional composition of soil microbial communities, with cascading effects on grassland ecosystem functioning. United States. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14852
Yang, Sihang, Zheng, Qiaoshu, Yang, Yunfeng, Yuan, Mengting, Ma, Xingyu, Chiariello, Nona R., Docherty, Kathryn M., Field, Christopher B., Gutknecht, Jessica L. M., Hungate, Bruce A., Niboyet, Audrey, Le Roux, Xavier, and Zhou, Jizhong. Mon . "Fire affects the taxonomic and functional composition of soil microbial communities, with cascading effects on grassland ecosystem functioning". United States. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14852. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1580930.
@article{osti_1580930,
title = {Fire affects the taxonomic and functional composition of soil microbial communities, with cascading effects on grassland ecosystem functioning},
author = {Yang, Sihang and Zheng, Qiaoshu and Yang, Yunfeng and Yuan, Mengting and Ma, Xingyu and Chiariello, Nona R. and Docherty, Kathryn M. and Field, Christopher B. and Gutknecht, Jessica L. M. and Hungate, Bruce A. and Niboyet, Audrey and Le Roux, Xavier and Zhou, Jizhong},
abstractNote = {Fire is a crucial event regulating the structure and functioning of many ecosystems. Yet few studies have focused on how fire affects taxonomic and functional diversities of soil microbial communities, along with changes in plant communities and soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here, we analyze these effects in a grassland ecosystem 9 months after an experimental fire at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment site in California, USA. Fire altered soil microbial communities considerably, with community assembly process analysis showing that environmental selection pressure was higher in burned sites. However, a small subset of highly connected taxa was able to withstand the disturbance. In addition, fire decreased the relative abundances of most functional genes associated with C degradation and N cycling, implicating a slowdown of microbial processes linked to soil C and N dynamics. In contrast, fire stimulated above- and belowground plant growth, likely enhancing plant-microbe competition for soil inorganic N, which was reduced by a factor of about 2. To synthesize those findings, we performed structural equation modeling, which showed that plants but not microbial communities were responsible for significantly higher soil respiration rates in burned sites. Together, our results demonstrate that fire 'reboots' the grassland ecosystem by differentially regulating plant and soil microbial communities, leading to significant changes in soil C and N dynamics.},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.14852},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
number = 2,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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