Soil stoichiometry mediates links between tree functional diversity and soil microbial diversity in a temperate forest

Sanaei, Anvar and Sayer, Emma and Yuan, Zuoqiang and Lin, Fei and Fang, Shuai and Ye, Ji and Liu, Shufang and Hao, Zhanqing and Wang, Xugao (2022) Soil stoichiometry mediates links between tree functional diversity and soil microbial diversity in a temperate forest. Ecosystems, 25 (2). pp. 291-307. ISSN 1432-9840

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Abstract

Interactions between plants and soil microbial communities underpin soil processes and forest ecosystem function, but the links between tree diversity and soil microbial diversity are poorly characterized. Differences in both the taxonomic and functional diversity of trees and microbes can shape soil nutrient status and carbon storage, but the stoichiometry of carbon and nutrients in the soil also influences resource availability to plant and microbial communities. Given the key role of resource availability in plant–soil interactions, we hypothesized that relationships between tree diversity metrics and soil bacterial or fungal diversity are mediated by soil stoichiometry. To test our hypothesis, we measured tree diversity metrics (tree species richness, functional trait diversity and functional trait composition) and soil stoichiometry in a temperate forest in China, and we determined soil microbial diversity by Illumina sequencing. We used structural equation models to assess the relationships between tree diversity metrics and soil bacterial or fungal diversity and to evaluate the influence of soil stoichiometry. Overall, microbial diversity was strongly related to soil stoichiometry, whereby fungal diversity was associated with high soil N/P ratios, whereas bacterial diversity was related to high soil C/P ratios. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity were more closely related to tree functional trait diversity and composition than to tree species richness, and the links between tree and soil microbial diversity were mediated by soil stoichiometry. The strong links between tree functional traits, soil stoichiometry and soil bacteria or fungi suggest that resource quality plays a key role in plant–microbial interactions. Our results highlight the importance of nutrient stoichiometry in linkages between tree functional diversity and soil microbial diversity.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecosystems
Additional Information:
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-021-00655-3
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2304
Subjects:
ID Code:
154549
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 May 2021 15:40
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 10:13