Soil Biota as Drivers of Plant Community Assembly

P. Kardol (Corresponding author), J. De Long, P. Mariotte

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

16 Downloads (Pure)


Evidence is accumulating that belowground soil organisms are strong drivers of the aboveground plant community. In this chapter, we examine how soil communities influence plant community assembly through priority effects, soil legacy effects, and niche modification. We discuss how different functional groups of soil organisms drive competitive interactions, species coexistence, and species turnover. We then explore how primary and secondary successional trajectories can be altered by soil communities and delve into the mechanisms by which soil communities can affect ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation. Finally, we discuss the role of soil biota in plant invasion and range expansion and how soil biota interact with global environmental changes to affect plant community composition. We conclude by outlining knowledge gaps and propose potential avenues for addressing these gaps via upscaling of measurements, enhanced experimental design, and the utilization of plant and soil organism traits.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAboveground–Belowground Community Ecology
EditorsTakayuki Ohgushi, Susanne Wurst, Scott N. Johnson
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91614-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEcological Studies


  • international


Dive into the research topics of 'Soil Biota as Drivers of Plant Community Assembly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this