Bacterial community structure correlates with decomposition parameters along a Hawaiian precipitation gradient

Egbert Schwartz, Karen L. Adair, Edward A. Schuur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


We analyzed soil bacterial communities with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (TRFLP) along a precipitation gradient on the Hawaiian island Maui where mean annual rainfall increases from 2200 to 5050 mm. Principal component and cluster analysis of TRFLP patterns indicated there were only small differences in bacterial communities in soils receiving 2200-2750 mm of rain annually but large changes in bacterial community structure occurred as annual precipitation exceeded 2750 mm. The change in bacterial community structure correlated with several ecosystem parameters including mean annual precipitation, aboveground net primary productivity, soil redox status, litter decomposition rates, net methane flux and soil respiration. We suggest the dominant change in bacterial community structure along the gradient reflects a shift from respiratory to fermentative metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2164-2167
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007



  • Bacterial community structure
  • Hawaii
  • Precipitation gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology

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