Decoupled richness of generalist anaerobes and sulphate-reducing bacteria is driven by pH across land uses in temperate soils

George, Paul B.L. ORCID:; Coelho, Katia P.; Creer, Simon; Lebron, Inma; Robinson, David A.; Jones, Davey L.. 2020 Decoupled richness of generalist anaerobes and sulphate-reducing bacteria is driven by pH across land uses in temperate soils. European Journal of Soil Science.

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Sulphate‐reducing bacteria (SRB) represent a key biological component of the global sulphur (S) cycle and are common in soils, where they reduce SO42− to H2S during the anaerobic degradation of soil organic matter. The factors that regulate their distribution in soil, however, remain poorly understood. We sought to determine the ecological patterns of SRB richness within a nationwide 16S metabarcoding dataset. Across 436 sites belonging to seven contrasting temperate land uses (e.g., arable, grasslands, woodlands, heathland and bog), SRB richness was relatively low across land uses but greatest in grasslands and lowest in woodlands and peat‐rich soils. There was a shift in dominant SRB taxa from Desulfosporosinus and Desulfobulbus in arable and grassland land uses to Desulfobacca in heathland and bog sites. In contrast, richness of other generalist anaerobic bacterial taxa found in our dataset (e.g., Clostridium, Geobacter and Pelobacter) followed a known trend of declining richness linked to land‐use productivity. Overall, the richness of SRBs and anaerobes had strong positive correlations with pH and sulphate concentration and strong negative relationships with elevation, soil organic matter, total carbon and carbon‐to‐nitrogen ratio. It is likely that these results reflect the driving influence of pH and competition for optimal electron acceptors with generalist anaerobic bacteria on SRB richness.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1351-0754
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: anaerobes, atmospheric deposition, dissimilatory sulphate reduction, nutrient cycling, soil acidity
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 26 Dec 2020 12:52 +0 (UTC)

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