Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem

Ximei Zhang, Albert Barberán, Xunzhi Zhu, Guangming Zhang, Xingguo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere115798
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 29 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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