Plant and Soil

, Volume 374, Issue 1, pp 211–222

Soil microorganisms respond to five years of climate change manipulations and elevated atmospheric CO2 in a temperate heath ecosystem

  • Merian Skouw Haugwitz
  • Lasse Bergmark
  • Anders Priemé
  • Søren Christensen
  • Claus Beier
  • Anders Michelsen
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-013-1855-1

Cite this article as:
Haugwitz, M.S., Bergmark, L., Priemé, A. et al. Plant Soil (2014) 374: 211. doi:10.1007/s11104-013-1855-1

Abstract

Background and aims

Soil microbial responses to global change can affect organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling thereby altering the overall ecosystem functioning. In a large-scale experiment, we investigated the impact of 5 years of climate change and elevated atmospheric CO2 on soil microorganisms and nutrient availability in a temperate heathland.

Methods

The future climate was simulated by increased soil temperature (+0.3 °C), extended pre-summer drought (excluding 5–8 % of the annual precipitation) and elevated CO2 (+130 ppm) in a factorial design. Soil organic matter and nutrient pools were analysed and linked to microbial measures by quantitative PCR of bacteria and fungi, chloroform fumigation extraction, and substrate-induced respiration to assess their impact of climate change on nutrient availability.

Results

Warming resulted in higher measures of fungi and bacteria, of microbial biomass and of microbial growth potential, however, this did not reduce the availability of nitrogen or phosphorus in the soil. Elevated CO2 did not directly affect the microbial measures or nutrient pools, whereas drought shifted the microbial community towards a higher fungal dominance.

Conclusions

Although we were not able to show strong interactive effects of the global change factors, warming and drought changed both nutrient availability and microbial community composition in the heathland soil, which could alter the ecosystem carbon and nutrient flow in the long-term.

Keywords

Bacterial abundanceCLIMAITEDeschampsia flexuosaElevated carbon dioxideFungal abundanceLong-term ecosystem manipulationReal-time quantitative PCRSoil nutrient pools

Supplementary material

11104_2013_1855_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Table S1(DOCX 14 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merian Skouw Haugwitz
    • 1
  • Lasse Bergmark
    • 1
  • Anders Priemé
    • 1
  • Søren Christensen
    • 1
  • Claus Beier
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anders Michelsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Biosystems Division, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable EnergyTechnical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.NIVAOsloNorway
  4. 4.CENPERMUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark