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A meta-analysis of soil microbial biomass responses to forest disturbances.

Holden SR, Treseder KK - Front Microbiol (2013)

Bottom Line: Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7, 19.1, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively).Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration.Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Climate warming is likely to increase the frequency and severity of forest disturbances, with uncertain consequences for soil microbial communities and their contribution to ecosystem C dynamics. To address this uncertainty, we conducted a meta-analysis of 139 published soil microbial responses to forest disturbances. These disturbances included abiotic (fire, harvesting, storm) and biotic (insect, pathogen) disturbances. We hypothesized that soil microbial biomass would decline following forest disturbances, but that abiotic disturbances would elicit greater reductions in microbial biomass than biotic disturbances. In support of this hypothesis, across all published studies, disturbances reduced soil microbial biomass by an average of 29.4%. However, microbial responses differed between abiotic and biotic disturbances. Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7, 19.1, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively). In contrast, changes in soil microbial biomass following insect infestation and pathogen-induced tree mortality were non-significant, although biotic disturbances were poorly represented in the literature. When measured separately, fungal and bacterial responses to disturbances mirrored the response of the microbial community as a whole. Changes in microbial abundance following disturbance were significantly positively correlated with changes in microbial respiration. We propose that the differential effect of abiotic and biotic disturbances on microbial biomass may be attributable to differences in soil disruption and organic C removal from forests among disturbance types. Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration. Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The response ratio of microbial biomass as a function of the time since disturbance following boreal forest fires (A) and boreal forest harvesting (B). Response ratios significantly increased with time after boreal forest fires [R = 0.51 × (time since disturbance) ∧ 0.26, n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001] and boreal forest harvest (R = 0.01 × time since disturbance + 0.81, n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010).
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Figure 2: The response ratio of microbial biomass as a function of the time since disturbance following boreal forest fires (A) and boreal forest harvesting (B). Response ratios significantly increased with time after boreal forest fires [R = 0.51 × (time since disturbance) ∧ 0.26, n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001] and boreal forest harvest (R = 0.01 × time since disturbance + 0.81, n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010).

Mentions: There was a significant positive relationship between the time since disturbance and the microbial biomass R following boreal forest fires (Figure 2A) and boreal forest harvesting (Figure 2B). Response ratios significantly increased as the time since fire increased in boreal forests (n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001). Similarly, microbial response ratios increased with the time since harvest in boreal forests (n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010), and the relationship was linear.


A meta-analysis of soil microbial biomass responses to forest disturbances.

Holden SR, Treseder KK - Front Microbiol (2013)

The response ratio of microbial biomass as a function of the time since disturbance following boreal forest fires (A) and boreal forest harvesting (B). Response ratios significantly increased with time after boreal forest fires [R = 0.51 × (time since disturbance) ∧ 0.26, n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001] and boreal forest harvest (R = 0.01 × time since disturbance + 0.81, n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3687142&req=5

Figure 2: The response ratio of microbial biomass as a function of the time since disturbance following boreal forest fires (A) and boreal forest harvesting (B). Response ratios significantly increased with time after boreal forest fires [R = 0.51 × (time since disturbance) ∧ 0.26, n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001] and boreal forest harvest (R = 0.01 × time since disturbance + 0.81, n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010).
Mentions: There was a significant positive relationship between the time since disturbance and the microbial biomass R following boreal forest fires (Figure 2A) and boreal forest harvesting (Figure 2B). Response ratios significantly increased as the time since fire increased in boreal forests (n = 21, r2 = 0.793, P < 0.0001). Similarly, microbial response ratios increased with the time since harvest in boreal forests (n = 32, r2 = 0.201, P = 0.010), and the relationship was linear.

Bottom Line: Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7, 19.1, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively).Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration.Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Climate warming is likely to increase the frequency and severity of forest disturbances, with uncertain consequences for soil microbial communities and their contribution to ecosystem C dynamics. To address this uncertainty, we conducted a meta-analysis of 139 published soil microbial responses to forest disturbances. These disturbances included abiotic (fire, harvesting, storm) and biotic (insect, pathogen) disturbances. We hypothesized that soil microbial biomass would decline following forest disturbances, but that abiotic disturbances would elicit greater reductions in microbial biomass than biotic disturbances. In support of this hypothesis, across all published studies, disturbances reduced soil microbial biomass by an average of 29.4%. However, microbial responses differed between abiotic and biotic disturbances. Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7, 19.1, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively). In contrast, changes in soil microbial biomass following insect infestation and pathogen-induced tree mortality were non-significant, although biotic disturbances were poorly represented in the literature. When measured separately, fungal and bacterial responses to disturbances mirrored the response of the microbial community as a whole. Changes in microbial abundance following disturbance were significantly positively correlated with changes in microbial respiration. We propose that the differential effect of abiotic and biotic disturbances on microbial biomass may be attributable to differences in soil disruption and organic C removal from forests among disturbance types. Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration. Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus