Urban forest soils harbour distinct and more diverse communities of bacteria and fungi compared to less disturbed forest soils
Scholier, T., Lavrinienko, A., Brila, I., Tukalenko, E., Hindström, R., Vasylenko, A., Cayol, C., Ecke, F., Singh, N. J., Forsman, J. T., Tolvanen, A., Matala, J., Huitu, O., Kallio, E. R., Koskela, E., Mappes, T., & Watts, P. C. (2023). Urban forest soils harbour distinct and more diverse communities of bacteria and fungi compared to less disturbed forest soils. Molecular Ecology, 32(2), 504-517. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16754
Published inMolecular Ecology
DisciplineHyvinvoinnin tutkimuksen yhteisöResurssiviisausyhteisöKoulutuksen tutkimuslaitosEkologia ja evoluutiobiologiaSchool of WellbeingSchool of Resource WisdomFinnish Institute for Educational ResearchEcology and Evolutionary Biology
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© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Anthropogenic changes to land use drive concomitant changes in biodiversity, including that of the soil microbiota. However, it is not clear how increasing intensity of human disturbance is reflected in the soil microbial communities. To address this issue, we used amplicon sequencing to quantify the microbiota (bacteria and fungi) in the soil of forests (n=312) experiencing four different land uses, national parks (set aside for nature conservation), managed (for forestry purposes), suburban (on the border of an urban area) and urban (fully within a town or city), which broadly represent a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Alpha diversity of bacteria and fungi increased with increasing levels of anthropogenic disturbance, and was thus highest in urban forest soils and lowest in the national parks. The forest soil microbial communities were structured according to the level of anthropogenic disturbance, with a clear urban signature evident in both bacteria and fungi. Despite notable differences in community composition, there was little change in the predicted functional traits of urban bacteria. By contrast, urban soils exhibited a marked loss of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Soil pH was positively correlated with the level of disturbance, and thus was the strongest predictor of variation in alpha and beta diversity of forest soil communities, indicating a role of soil alkalinity in structuring urban soil microbial communities. Hence, our study shows how the properties of urban forest soils promote an increase in microbial diversity and a change in forest soil microbiota composition. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Joint International Project, AoF; Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis research was funded through the 2017-2018 Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA joint call for research proposals, under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND programme, and with funding from the Academy of Finland (project numbers 329334 and 326534 to PCW). Additional funding through the Academy of Finland (project number 329332) was granted to ERK. The lead author (TS) was supported by the University of Jyväskylä Graduate School. We are grateful to the Finnish Centre for Scientific Computing (CSC) for access to computational resources. We would also like to thank the JYU technical staff Emma Pajunen, Mervi Koistinen and Nina Honkanen for help with pH measurements, Anja Siukkola for help during field work and Yingying Wang for compiling the Human Influence Index data. ...
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