Interannual climate variability and altered precipitation influence the soil microbial community structure in a Tibetan Plateau grassland.

Affiliation

State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Climate change could influence aboveground and belowground plant community diversity and structure profoundly. However, our understanding of the responses of microbial communities to changes in both temperature and precipitation remains poor. Here, using 16S rDNA and ITS high throughput sequencing, we investigated the responses of soil bacterial and fungal community structure to both temperature and precipitation changes, and how such changes could influence interannual variability within soil microbial communities in a grassland in the Tibetan Plateau. The altered precipitation treatments had significant effects on soil bacterial and fungal community structure (F = 2.11, P = 0,001; F = 2.26. P = 0.001, respectively), while year had a more significant effect on soil bacterial and fungal community structure (F = 3.36, P = 0.001; F = 2.67, P = 0.001, respectively). The results showed that the interannual fluctuations in mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature were significantly correlated with the interannual variations in soil bacterial and fungal community structures. In addition, the robustness of co-occurrence relationships among microbes could be strongly influenced by the altered precipitation and year. Overall, our results indicated that the effect of interannual climate variability on the soil microbial community was greater than the effect of a 1.6 °C increase in temperature. Our findings suggest an interactive effect of rapid interannual variability and slow climate change on the belowground soil microbial community structure.

Keywords

Climate change,Soil bacterial and fungal community,Soil bacterial and fungal diversity,Temperature and precipitation,Tibetan Plateau,

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