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Title (Primary) Earthworm gut passage reinforces land-use effects on soil microbial communities across climate treatments
Author Singh, J.; Eisenhauer, N.; Schädler, M.; Cesarz, S.;
Journal Applied Soil Ecology
Year 2021
Department BZF; iDiv;
Volume 164
Language englisch;
Keywords Bacterial biomass; Fungal biomass; Land-use type; Microbial community; Biotic filter; Climate change
Abstract The interactions between earthworms and soil microbial communities have attracted a lot of scientific attention, but if and how important soil invertebrates may modulate climate effects on soil microorganisms in different land-use types is less clear. Here we collected earthworm casts as an indicator of earthworm effects on soil microbial communities and bulk soil from the Global Change Experiment Facility (GCEF) situated at Bad Lauchstädt, Germany. We tested the interactive effect of two climate treatments (ambient and future), land-use type (conventional farming, organic farming, and extensively used meadows), and sample type (cast and bulk soil) on the soil microbial community. The biomass and community composition of the bacterial and fungal communities were assessed by fatty acid analysis. Climate, alone and in interaction with land-use type, had no significant effects on the biomass and composition of soil microorganisms in bulk soil and casts produced by earthworms. The biomasses of almost all microbial markers (except for 18:2ω6t and 18:1ω9t) were significantly higher in the cast than in bulk soil in all land-use types (+185%), with the most substantial impact on all other fungal makers in soil. However, the land-use effect was significantly modulated by soil type, i.e., earthworms. Mainly extensively managed meadows had more than double (+237%) the microbial biomass in casts than in bulk soil, whereas in the other land-use types, the positive effect of cast soil was much smaller (conventional farming: +166%; organic farming: +123%). The microbial community composition showed no difference between the two cropping systems (conventional farming and organic farming). Here, bulk soil was more associated with fungal biomarkers, whereas casts were more dominated by bacterial markers; however, this effect was rather weak. Extensively managed meadows showed strong differences to both cropping systems, mainly due to higher microbial biomass and a more heterogeneous association of either more fungal or bacterial communities. We suggest that the main factors that led to differences between land-use types were a more diverse plant community in meadows and the less intensive management regime with undisturbed soils. The conditions in extensively managed meadows allowed earthworms to strongly amplify those positive effects in casts, suggesting that earthworms can act as important biotic filters modulating land-use effects on soil microbes across climate treatments.
ID 24323
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=24323
Singh, J., Eisenhauer, N., Schädler, M., Cesarz, S. (2021):
Earthworm gut passage reinforces land-use effects on soil microbial communities across climate treatments
Appl. Soil Ecol. 164 , art. 103919