Research Topic

Microbiomes in the warming undergrowth: examining how climate change influences alterations in plant-microbe associations

About this Research Topic

The current warming of cold climates, such as in the Arctic, sub-Arctic and Alpine regions leads to rapid changes in vegetation, as land previously covered by glaciers becomes exposed to pimary succession, and observable ecosystem changes occur in established tundra, heathlands, moorlands and other regional habitat types. Microbes can be expected to comprise the first responders to climate change, and their interactions with members of the macroscopic vegetation, be they cryptogams or vascular plants, are among likely drivers of these ecosystem changes. Understanding the composition, function, and interactions of microbial populations associated with lichens, bryophytes and other “undergrowth“ vegetation in these habitats is key to understanding the ecological effects of climate change, including potential re-emergence of plant pathogens in these fragile ecosystems.

The main goal of this Research Topic is to advance knowledge and promote research on the interaction of microbes with cryptogam and other "undergrowth" vegetation, such as lichens, mosses, ferns, liverworts, etc. in the context of the ongoing climate warming, especially as regards primary succession in land freshly exposed by retreating glaciers, secondary succession in arctic and alpine tundra, heathland and moorland habitat types, as well as in thawing permafrost. Recent studies based on amplicon-based community analysis and metagenomics have advanced our understanding of the taxonomic composition of vegetation-associated microbiomes in these environments, but the functional and ecological roles of these microbes are still poorly understood. The ongoing climate warming also raises concerns regarding potential emergence or re-emergence of plant pathogens in these fragile environments.

This Research Topic will collect studies aimed at furthering understanding of the interaction of microbes with cryptogam and other "undergrowth" vegetation in cold climates, especially as regards succession in response to climate warming. Specific themes include (but are not limited to):
• Metagenomics, community analysis and network analysis of microbial populations associated with cryptogams and other undergrowth vegetation
• Studies on interactions between specific microbial groups and their cryptogam or plant hosts
• The physiological or ecological roles of particular functional or taxonomic groups in the cryptogam holobiont
• Occurrence and distribution of indicator or other particular microbes in relevant environments, especially plant pathogens or human pathogens
• Succession theory in the context of microbial populations and their interactions with macroscopic vegetation in response to climate change


Keywords: Community analysis, Lichen-associated bacteria, Moss-associated bacteria, Bryosphere, Plant-microbe interactions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The current warming of cold climates, such as in the Arctic, sub-Arctic and Alpine regions leads to rapid changes in vegetation, as land previously covered by glaciers becomes exposed to pimary succession, and observable ecosystem changes occur in established tundra, heathlands, moorlands and other regional habitat types. Microbes can be expected to comprise the first responders to climate change, and their interactions with members of the macroscopic vegetation, be they cryptogams or vascular plants, are among likely drivers of these ecosystem changes. Understanding the composition, function, and interactions of microbial populations associated with lichens, bryophytes and other “undergrowth“ vegetation in these habitats is key to understanding the ecological effects of climate change, including potential re-emergence of plant pathogens in these fragile ecosystems.

The main goal of this Research Topic is to advance knowledge and promote research on the interaction of microbes with cryptogam and other "undergrowth" vegetation, such as lichens, mosses, ferns, liverworts, etc. in the context of the ongoing climate warming, especially as regards primary succession in land freshly exposed by retreating glaciers, secondary succession in arctic and alpine tundra, heathland and moorland habitat types, as well as in thawing permafrost. Recent studies based on amplicon-based community analysis and metagenomics have advanced our understanding of the taxonomic composition of vegetation-associated microbiomes in these environments, but the functional and ecological roles of these microbes are still poorly understood. The ongoing climate warming also raises concerns regarding potential emergence or re-emergence of plant pathogens in these fragile environments.

This Research Topic will collect studies aimed at furthering understanding of the interaction of microbes with cryptogam and other "undergrowth" vegetation in cold climates, especially as regards succession in response to climate warming. Specific themes include (but are not limited to):
• Metagenomics, community analysis and network analysis of microbial populations associated with cryptogams and other undergrowth vegetation
• Studies on interactions between specific microbial groups and their cryptogam or plant hosts
• The physiological or ecological roles of particular functional or taxonomic groups in the cryptogam holobiont
• Occurrence and distribution of indicator or other particular microbes in relevant environments, especially plant pathogens or human pathogens
• Succession theory in the context of microbial populations and their interactions with macroscopic vegetation in response to climate change


Keywords: Community analysis, Lichen-associated bacteria, Moss-associated bacteria, Bryosphere, Plant-microbe interactions


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 September 2021 Abstract
20 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 September 2021 Abstract
20 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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