Tree species, mycorrhizal associations, and land-use history as drivers of cohesion in soil biota communities and microbe-fauna interactions

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  • Petr Heděnec
  • Hanan Almahasheer
  • Qiang Lin
  • Yan Peng
  • Haifeng Zheng
  • David Pessanha Siqueira
  • Kai Yue
  • Umar Hussaini bin Tarmizi
  • Mohamad Aqmal-Naser
  • Siti Norasikin Ismail
  • Amirah Alias
  • Johannes Rousk
  • Vesterdal, Lars

Community cohesion is a recent concept in ecology referring to the varying levels of connectivity and integration between populations of different taxonomic or functional groups within ecosystems. Positive cohesion denotes positive interactions such as mutualism or facilitation, while negative cohesion implies negative interactions such as competitive exclusion or a preference for different habitats. However, the effects of ecosystem characteristics such as tree species identity, mycorrhizal association and land-use history on soil biota community cohesion and microbe-fauna interactions remains poorly understood. We analyzed data on soil microbial biomass and biomass of taxonomic and functional groups of soil fauna obtained from monoculture stands of broadleaved tree species (maple and ash) associated with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), broadleaved tree species (beech, lime, and oak) associated with ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) and coniferous Norway spruce associated with ECM planted in common garden designs on former cropland and former forest land across Denmark. Our results revealed both positive and negative cohesion within soil communities, with only negative cohesion varying significantly among tree species. Soil biota communities under spruce indicated the most negative cohesion, whereas maple and ash soils showed least negative cohesion. Community cohesion varied across different sampling locations and between sites with different land-use histories. Positive cohesion was more pronounced in former cropland than in former old forest land, while negative cohesion was more pronounced in soils under tree species associated with ECM fungi than in soils beneath tree species associated with AM fungi. Both positive and negative cohesion were strongly influenced by litter chemistry and soil properties, indicating complex ecological dynamics. Soil pH, litter decomposition indices, and soil C:N ratio emerged as key drivers of microbial and faunal community structures. Additionally, the total microbial and faunal biomass, as well as the community structure of soil microbial and faunal communities, indicated strong positive interactions. Our results have the potential to support forest management by aiding in the selection of suitable tree species to support different groups of soil microbes and fauna, which play crucial role in ecosystem services such as nutrient release and transformation of soil organic matter.

TidsskriftForest Ecology and Management
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2024

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