Comparison of distinctive diversities, co-occurrence patterns and potential ecological functions of microbial communities in heterogeneous soil areas in typical subtropical forests, southeast China

Weihong Huang, Junqi Wang, Yan Zhou, Ximei Xue, Zhaobin Huang, Mingkuang Wang, Hendrikus J. Laanbroek, Qiufang Zhang* (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Although microbes are crucial in ecological cycling in forest soil, the response of the network structure and ecological functions of these microorganisms to soil heterogeneity remains elusive. Here, we analyzed the composition and co-occurrence network patterns of microorganisms in heterogeneous soil areas and evaluated their potential ecological functions, taking the scenic area (SA) and nature reserve (NR) of Wuyishan National Park as examples. Our results showed that the soil properties of SA and NR could almost be clustered separately, and soil heterogeneity between them has been found. Prokaryotic communities in both areas were also divided and showed higher similarities individually than those of eukaryotes. The prokaryotic community composition in both areas was mainly affected by pH and ammonia, while the eukaryotic community composition was mainly affected by total carbon and the carbon to nitrogen ratio. Both the microbial network and ecological function network in SA were more complex than those of NR, while those of NR were more stable than those of SA. The keystone taxa of pro- and eukaryotes with important ecological functions were enriched in SA and NR, respectively. Moreover, significant discrepancies between SA and NR were found in the prokaryotic functions related to nitrogen cycling, sulfur cycling, and compound degradation. Our study illuminated that the soil heterogeneity in subtropical areas changed microbial community diversity, interaction patterns, and keystone taxa composition, and might further affect their ecological functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107838
JournalCatena
Volume238
Early online date26 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Co-occurrence network
  • Eukaryotes
  • Functional characteristics
  • Prokaryotes
  • Soil heterogeneity
  • Soil properties

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