Assembly of Active Bacterial and Fungal Communities Along a Natural Environmental Gradient
- 868 Downloads
Dormancy is thought to promote biodiversity within microbial communities, but how assembly of the active community responds to changes in environmental conditions is unclear. To measure the active and dormant communities of bacteria and fungi colonizing decomposing litter in maple forests, we targeted ribosomal genes and transcripts across a natural environmental gradient. Within bacterial and fungal communities, the active and dormant communities were phylogenetically distinct, but patterns of phylogenetic clustering varied. For bacteria, active communities were significantly more clustered than dormant communities, while the reverse was found for fungi. The proportion of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) classified as active and the degree of phylogenetic clustering of the active bacterial communities declined with increasing pH and decreasing C/N. No significant correlations were found for the fungal community. The opposing pattern of phylogenetic clustering in dormant and active communities and the differential response of active communities to environmental gradients suggest that dormancy differentially structures bacterial and fungal communities.
KeywordsBiodiversity Community assembly Dormancy Microbial activity Phylogenetic clustering rRNA
We thank Zachary Freedman and Sarah Eisenlord for sample collection, John Dunbar, Blaire Steven, and Cedar Hesse for helpful discussions, and two anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions greatly improved the manuscript. Funding for this study came from the Department of Energy Biological and Environmental Research program, the Los Alamos National Laborarory LDRD program and the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research program. This is LANL unclassified report LA-UR-14-25588.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- 4.Chesson P (2000) Mechanisms of maintenance of species diversity. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 343–366Google Scholar
- 7.Amend AS, Martiny AC, Allison SD et al (2015) Microbial response to simulated global change is phylogenetically conserved and linked with functional potential. The ISME J 1–10. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.96Google Scholar
- 9.Litchman E, Edwards KF, Klausmeier CA (2015) Microbial resource utilization traits and trade-offs: implications for community structure, functioning, and biogeochemical impacts at present and in the future. Front Microbiol 6:254. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00254 CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 31.Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Kindt R et al (2013) Vegan: community ecology package. Community EcolGoogle Scholar
- 34.Anderson MJ (2001) A new method for non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance. Austral Ecol 26:32–46Google Scholar
- 44.Webb CO, Ackerly DD, McPeek MA, Donoghue MJ (2002) Phylogenies and community ecology. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 475–505Google Scholar
- 59.Giorgio PAD, Scarborough G (1995) Increase in the proportion of metabolically active bacteria along gradients of enrichment in freshwater and marine plankton: implications for estimates of bacterial growth and production rates. J Plankton Res 17:1905–1924. doi: 10.1093/plankt/17.10.1905 CrossRefGoogle Scholar