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Soil fungal:bacterial ratios are linked to altered carbon cycling

Malik, Ashish A.; Chowdhury, Somak; Schlager, Veronika; Oliver, Anna; Puissant, Jeremy; Vazquez, Perla G.M.; Jehmlich, Nico; von Bergen, Martin; Griffiths, Robert I.; Gleixner, Gerd. 2016 Soil fungal:bacterial ratios are linked to altered carbon cycling. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 1247. 11, pp. 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01247

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Abstract/Summary

Despite several lines of observational evidence, there is a lack of consensus on whether higher fungal:bacterial (F:B) ratios directly cause higher soil carbon (C) storage. We employed RNA sequencing, protein profiling and isotope tracer techniques to evaluate whether differing F:B ratios are associated with differences in C storage. A mesocosm 13C labeled foliar litter decomposition experiment was performed in two soils that were similar in their physico-chemical properties but differed in microbial community structure, specifically their F:B ratio (determined by PLFA analyses, RNA sequencing and protein profiling; all three corroborating each other). Following litter addition, we observed a consistent increase in abundance of fungal phyla; and greater increases in the fungal dominated soil; implicating the role of fungi in litter decomposition. Litter derived 13C in respired CO2 was consistently lower, and residual 13C in bulk SOM was higher in high F:B soil demonstrating greater C storage potential in the F:B dominated soil. We conclude that in this soil system, the increased abundance of fungi in both soils and the altered C cycling patterns in the F:B dominated soils highlight the significant role of fungi in litter decomposition and indicate that F:B ratios are linked to higher C storage potential.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01247
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 1664-302X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: bacteria, fungi, litter decomposition, proteomics, RNA sequencing, soil carbon, stable isotopes
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 22 Sep 2016 12:01 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/514560

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