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Impact of coloniser plant species on the development of decomposer microbial communities following deglaciation.

Bardgett, Richard D. and Walker, Lawrence R. (2004) Impact of coloniser plant species on the development of decomposer microbial communities following deglaciation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 36 (3). pp. 555-559. ISSN 0038-0717

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Abstract

The effects of coloniser plant species on microbial community growth and composition were investigated on recently deglaciated terrain at Glacier Bay, south-east Alaska. Analysis of microbial communities using phospholipids fatty acid analysis (PLFA) revealed that Alnus and Rhacomitrium had the greatest impact on microbial growth, increasing total PLFA by some 6–7 fold relative to bare soil, whereas Equisetum led to a 5.5 fold increase in total PLFA relative to bare soil. These coloniser species also had significant effects on the composition of their associated microbial communities. Rhacomitrium, Alnus, and Equisetum increased bacterial PLFA, a measure of bacterial biomass, relative to bare soil. Rhacomitrium and Alnus also dramatically increased the concentration of the fungal fatty 18:2ω6 in soil relative to bare soil, by 12-fold and 8-fold, respectively. The net effect of the above changes was a significant increase in the ratio of fungal: bacterial fatty acids in soil associated with Alnus and Rhacomitrium, but not Equisetum. Possible reasons for these effects of particular plants on microbial communities are discussed, as is their significance in relation to the development of microbial communities in relatively sterile, recently deglaciated ground.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microbial community structure ; Fungi ; Bacteria ; Succession ; Phospholipids fatty acid analysis ; Glacier Bay
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10245
Deposited By: Prof Richard Bardgett
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2008 16:57
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 10:48
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10245

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