Tundra microbial community taxa and traits predict decomposition parameters of stable, old soil organic carbon

Lauren Hale, Wenting Feng, Huaqun Yin, Xue Guo, Xishu Zhou, Rosvel Bracho, Elaine Pegoraro, Christopher Penton, Liyou Wu, James Cole, Konstantinos T. Konstantinidis, Yiqi Luo, James M. Tiedje, Edward A.G. Schuur, Jizhong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The susceptibility of soil organic carbon (SOC) in tundra to microbial decomposition under warmer climate scenarios potentially threatens a massive positive feedback to climate change, but the underlying mechanisms of stable SOC decomposition remain elusive. Herein, Alaskan tundra soils from three depths (a fibric O horizon with litter and course roots, an O horizon with decomposing litter and roots, and a mineral-organic mix, laying just above the permafrost) were incubated. Resulting respiration data were assimilated into a 3-pool model to derive decomposition kinetic parameters for fast, slow, and passive SOC pools. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal taxa and microbial functional genes were profiled throughout the 3-year incubation. Correlation analyses and a Random Forest approach revealed associations between model parameters and microbial community profiles, taxa, and traits. There were more associations between the microbial community data and the SOC decomposition parameters of slow and passive SOC pools than those of the fast SOC pool. Also, microbial community profiles were better predictors of model parameters in deeper soils, which had higher mineral contents and relatively greater quantities of old SOC than in surface soils. Overall, our analyses revealed the functional potential of microbial communities to decompose tundra SOC through a suite of specialized genes and taxa. These results portray divergent strategies by which microbial communities access SOC pools across varying depths, lending mechanistic insights into the vulnerability of what is considered stable SOC in tundra regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalISME Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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tundra
soil organic carbon
microbial communities
microbial community
Soil
Carbon
organic carbon
decomposition
degradation
soil
carbon sinks
tundra soils
tundra soil
organic horizons
litter
parameter
Tundra
Minerals
Microbial Genes
permafrost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Tundra microbial community taxa and traits predict decomposition parameters of stable, old soil organic carbon. / Hale, Lauren; Feng, Wenting; Yin, Huaqun; Guo, Xue; Zhou, Xishu; Bracho, Rosvel; Pegoraro, Elaine; Penton, Christopher; Wu, Liyou; Cole, James; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Zhou, Jizhong.

In: ISME Journal, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hale, L, Feng, W, Yin, H, Guo, X, Zhou, X, Bracho, R, Pegoraro, E, Penton, C, Wu, L, Cole, J, Konstantinidis, KT, Luo, Y, Tiedje, JM, Schuur, EAG & Zhou, J 2019, 'Tundra microbial community taxa and traits predict decomposition parameters of stable, old soil organic carbon', ISME Journal. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0485-x
Hale, Lauren ; Feng, Wenting ; Yin, Huaqun ; Guo, Xue ; Zhou, Xishu ; Bracho, Rosvel ; Pegoraro, Elaine ; Penton, Christopher ; Wu, Liyou ; Cole, James ; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T. ; Luo, Yiqi ; Tiedje, James M. ; Schuur, Edward A.G. ; Zhou, Jizhong. / Tundra microbial community taxa and traits predict decomposition parameters of stable, old soil organic carbon. In: ISME Journal. 2019.
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