Linking soil bacterial biodiversity and soil carbon stability

Rebecca L. Mau, Cindy M. Liu, Maliha Aziz, Egbert Schwartz, Paul Dijkstra, Jane C Marks, Lance B. Price, Paul S Keim, Bruce A Hungate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Native soil carbon (C) can be lost in response to fresh C inputs, a phenomenon observed for decades yet still not understood. Using dual-stable isotope probing, we show that changes in the diversity and composition of two functional bacterial groups occur with this 'priming' effect. A single-substrate pulse suppressed native soil C loss and reduced bacterial diversity, whereas repeated substrate pulses stimulated native soil C loss and increased diversity. Increased diversity after repeated C amendments contrasts with resource competition theory, and may be explained by increased predation as evidenced by a decrease in bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies. Our results suggest that biodiversity and composition of the soil microbial community change in concert with its functioning, with consequences for native soil C stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1477-1480
Number of pages4
JournalISME Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Microbiology

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