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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01944

Seasonal Dynamics of Soil Fungal and Bacterial Communities in Cool-Temperate Montane Forests

  • 1Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 2Chiba University, Graduate School of Horticulture, Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University, Japan

Both fungal and bacterial communities in soils play key roles in driving forest ecosystem processes across multiple time scales, but how seasonal changes in environmental factors shape these microbial communities is not well understood. Here, we aimed to evaluate the importance of seasons, elevation, and soil depth in determining soil fungal and bacterial communities, given the influence of climate conditions, soil properties and plant traits. In this study, seasonal patterns of diversity and abundance did not synchronize between fungi and bacteria, where soil fertility explained the diversity and abundance of soil fungi but soil water content explained those of soil bacteria. Model-based clustering showed that seasonal changes in both abundant and rare taxonomic groups were different between soil fungi and bacteria. The cluster represented by ectomycorrhizal genus Lactarius was a dominant group across soil fungal communities and fluctuated seasonally. For soil bacteria, the clusters composed of dominant genera were seasonally stable but varied greatly depending on elevation and soil depth. Seasonally changing clusters of soil bacteria (e.g., Nitrospira and Pelosinus) were not dominant groups and were related to plant phenology. These findings suggest that the contribution of seasonal changes in climate conditions, soil fertility, and plant phenology to microbial communities might be equal to or greater than the effects of spatial heterogeneity of those factors. Our study identifies aboveground–belowground components as key factors explaining how microbial communities change during a year in forest soils at mid-to-high latitudes.

Keywords: Forest ecosystems, Model-based clustering, soil bacteria, soil fungi, temporal dynamics

Received: 16 Apr 2019; Accepted: 07 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Shigyo, Umeki and Hirao. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Nobuhiko Shigyo, The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Saitama, Japan, shigyo@uf.a.u-tokyo.ac.jp