Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo*, David J. Eldridge, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gozalo, Brajesh K. Singh, Fernando T. Maestre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

287 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting–drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1305
Number of pages11
JournalEcology letters
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • carbon
  • fungi
  • multifunctionality
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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