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Título

Holm oak decline triggers changes in plant succession and microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem C and N cycling

Autor Rodríguez, Alexandra; Curiel Yuste, Jorge ; Rey, Ana; Durán, J.; García-Camacho, R.; Gallardo, A.; Valladares Ros, Fernando
Palabras clave Bacteria
Herbaceous community
Fungi
N cycling
C cycling
Quercus ilex
Forest die-off
Fecha de publicación may-2017
EditorSpringer
Citación Plant and Soil 414(1-2): 247-263 (2017)
ResumenBackground and aims: The occurrence of drought-induced forest die-off events is projected to increase in the future, but we still lack complete understanding of its impact on plant-soil interactions, soil microbial diversity and function. We investigated the effects of holm oak (Quercus ilex) decline (HOD) on soil microbial community and functioning, and how these effects relate to changes in the herbaceous community. Methods: We selected 30 holm oak trees with different defoliation degrees (healthy, affected and dead) and analyzed soil samples collected under the canopy (holm oak ecotype) and out of the influence (grassland ecotype) of each tree. Results: HOD increased potential nitrogen (N) mineralization and decreased inorganic N concentrations. These results could be partially explained by changes in the herbaceous composition, an increased herbaceous abundance and changes in soil microbial functional diversity and structure, with HOD favoring bacteria against fungi. Moreover, herbaceous abundance and microbial functional diversity of holm oak and grassland ecotypes converged with HOD. Conclusions: Our results show that HOD triggers a cascade effect on plant understory and soil microbial communities, as well as a plant succession (savannization) process, where understory species colonize the gaps left by dead holm oaks, with important implications for ecosystem C and N budgets.
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/154941
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s11104-016-3118-4
issn: 1573-5036
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