Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 54, Issue 11, pp 713–723 | Cite as

Vertical distribution of bacterial community is associated with the degree of soil organic matter decomposition in the active layer of moist acidic tundra

  • Hye Min Kim
  • Min Jin Lee
  • Ji Young Jung
  • Chung Yeon Hwang
  • Mincheol Kim
  • Hee-Myong Ro
  • Jongsik Chun
  • Yoo Kyung LeeEmail author


The increasing temperature in Arctic tundra deepens the active layer, which is the upper layer of permafrost soil that experiences repeated thawing and freezing. The increasing of soil temperature and the deepening of active layer seem to affect soil microbial communities. Therefore, information on soil microbial communities at various soil depths is essential to understand their potential responses to climate change in the active layer soil. We investigated the community structure of soil bacteria in the active layer from moist acidic tundra in Council, Alaska. We also interpreted their relationship with some relevant soil physicochemical characteristics along soil depth with a fine scale (5 cm depth interval). The bacterial community structure was found to change along soil depth. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Planctomycetes, and candidate phylum WPS-2 rapidly decreased with soil depth, while those of Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, and candidate AD3 rapidly increased. A structural shift was also found in the soil bacterial communities around 20 cm depth, where two organic (upper Oi and lower Oa) horizons are subdivided. The quality and the decomposition degree of organic matter might have influenced the bacterial community structure. Besides the organic matter quality, the vertical distribution of bacterial communities was also found to be related to soil pH and total phosphorus content. This study showed the vertical change of bacterial community in the active layer with a fine scale resolution and the possible influence of the quality of soil organic matter on shaping bacterial community structure.


soil organic matter bacterial community structure soil pH total phosphorus depth profile 


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Supplementary material

12275_2016_6294_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (217 kb)
Statistical summary of pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene
12275_2016_6294_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (57 kb)
Pearson correlations between soil properties and predicted functional gene categories


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hye Min Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Min Jin Lee
    • 3
  • Ji Young Jung
    • 1
  • Chung Yeon Hwang
    • 1
  • Mincheol Kim
    • 1
  • Hee-Myong Ro
    • 3
  • Jongsik Chun
    • 2
  • Yoo Kyung Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Korea Polar Research InstituteKIOSTIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute for Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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