Quercus rubra invasion of temperate deciduous forest stands alters the structure and functions of the soil microbiome

Małgorzata Stanek, Priyanka Kushwaha, Kamila Murawska-Wlodarczyk, Anna M. Stefanowicz, Alicja Babst-Kostecka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Invasive plants can modify the diversity and taxonomical structure of soil microbiomes. However, it is difficult to generalize the underlying factors as their influence often seems to depend on the complex plant-soil-microbial interactions. In this paper, we investigated how Quercus rubra impacts on the soil microbiome across two soil horizons in relation to native woodland. Five paired adjacent invaded vs native vegetation plots in a managed forest in southern Poland were investigated. Soil microbial communities were assessed along with soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical parameters, separately for both organic and mineral horizons, as well as forest stand characteristics to explore plant-soil-microbe interactions. Although Q. rubra did not significantly affect pH, organic C, total N, available nutrients nor enzymatic activity, differences in soil abiotic properties (except C to N ratio) were primarily driven by soil depth for both vegetation types. Further, we found significant differences in soil microbiome under invasion in relation to native vegetation. Microbial richness and diversity were lower in both horizons of Q. rubra vs control plots. Moreover, Q. rubra increased relative abundance of unique amplicon sequence variants in both horizons and thereby significantly changed the structure of the core soil microbial communities, in comparison to the control plots. In addition, predicted microbial functional groups indicated a predominant soil depth effect in both vegetation plots with higher abundance of aerobic chemoheterotrophic bacteria and endophytic fungi in the organic horizon and greater abundance of methanotrophic and methylotrophic bacteria, and ectomycorrhizal fungi in the mineral horizon. Overall, our results indicate strong associations between Q. rubra invasion and changes in soil microbiome and associated functions, a finding that needs to be further investigated to predict modifications in ecosystem functioning caused by this invasive species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116328
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Northern red oak
  • Plant invasion
  • Plant-soil microbiome interactions
  • Soil biogeochemical properties
  • Soil microbiome
  • Unique microbial taxa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Quercus rubra invasion of temperate deciduous forest stands alters the structure and functions of the soil microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this