Microbial diversity indexes can explain soil carbon dynamics as a function of carbon source. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2016

Microbial diversity indexes can explain soil carbon dynamics as a function of carbon source.


Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and confirmed with more experimental studies. Overall, along with other studies on relationships between microbial community composition and SOM dynamics, this study suggests that overall measures of microbial diversity may constitute relevant ways to include microbial diversity in models of SOM dynamics.
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hal-01367818 , version 1 (28-05-2020)





Benjamin P. Louis, Pierre-Alain Maron, Safya Menasseri-Aubry, Amadou Sarr, Jean Lévêque, et al.. Microbial diversity indexes can explain soil carbon dynamics as a function of carbon source.. PLoS ONE, 2016, 11 (8), pp.e0161251. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0161251⟩. ⟨hal-01367818⟩
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