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Changes in microbial community composition drive the response of ecosystem multifunctionality to elevated ozone

Li, K., Hayes, F., Chadwick, D.R., Wang, J., Zou, J. and Jones, D.L. (2022) Changes in microbial community composition drive the response of ecosystem multifunctionality to elevated ozone. Environmental Research, 214 (Pt. 4). Art. 114142.

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Increasing tropospheric ozone poses a potential threat to both above- and belowground components of the terrestrial biosphere. Microorganisms are the main drivers of soil ecological processes, however, the link between soil microbial communities and ecological functions under elevated ozone remains poorly understood. In this study, we assessed the responses of three crop seedlings (i.e., soybean, maize, and wheat) growth and soil microbial communities to elevated ozone (40 ppb O3 above ambient air) in a pot experiment in the solardomes. Results showed that elevated ozone adversely affected ecosystem multifunctionality by reducing crop biomass, inhibiting soil extracellular enzyme activities, and altering nutrient availability. Elevated ozone increased bacterial and fungal co-occurrence network complexity, negatively correlated with ecosystem multifunctionality. Changes in the relative abundance of some specific bacteria and fungi were associated with multiple ecosystem functioning. In addition, elevated ozone significantly affected fungal community composition but not bacterial community composition and microbial alpha-diversity. Crop type played a key role in determining bacterial alpha-diversity and microbial community composition. In conclusion, our findings suggest that short-term elevated ozone could lead to a decrease in ecosystem multifunctionality associated with changes in the complexity of microbial networks in soils.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Farming Systems
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Inc.
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