Rapid effects of plant species diversity and identity on soil microbial communities in experimental grassland ecosystems - Université des Antilles Access content directly
Journal Articles Soil Biology and Biochemistry Year : 2006

Rapid effects of plant species diversity and identity on soil microbial communities in experimental grassland ecosystems

Laure Barthes
Alexandra Gastine
  • Function : Author
Paul Leadley
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Changes in plant community structure, including the loss of plant diversity may affect soil microbial communities. To test this hypothesis, plant diversity and composition were experimentally varied in grassland plots cultivated with monocultures or mixtures of 2, 3 or 4 species. We tested the effects of monocultures versus mixtures and of plant species composition on culturable soil bacterial activity, number of substrates used and catabolic diversity, microbial biomass N, microbial respiration, and root biomass. These properties were all measured 10 months after seeding the experiment. Soil bacterial activity, number of substrates used and catabolic diversity were measured in the different plant communities using BIOLOG GN and GP microplates, which are redox-based tests measuring capacity of soil culturable bacteria to use a variety of organic substrates. Microbial biomass N, microbial respiration, and root biomass were insensitive to plant diversity. Culturable soil microbial activity, substrates used and diversity declined with declining plant diversity. Their activity, number of substrates used and diversity were significantly higher in plots with 3 and 4 plant species than in monocultures and in plots with 2 species. There was also an effect of plant species composition. Culturable soil microbial activity and diversity was higher in the four-species plant community than in any of the plant monocultures suggesting that the effect of plant diversity could not be explained by the presence of a particular plant species. Our results showed that changes in plant diversity and composition in grassland ecosystems lead to a rapid response of bacterial activity and diversity. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dates and versions

hal-04036551 , version 1 (19-03-2023)

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Gladys Loranger-Merciris, Laure Barthes, Alexandra Gastine, Paul Leadley. Rapid effects of plant species diversity and identity on soil microbial communities in experimental grassland ecosystems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 2006, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 38 (8), pp.2336-2343. ⟨10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.02.009⟩. ⟨hal-04036551⟩

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