The Influence of Time and Plant Species on the Composition of the Decomposing Bacterial Community in a Stream Ecosystem

Adam S. Wymore, Cindy M. Liu, Bruce A Hungate, Egbert Schwartz, Lance B. Price, Thomas G Whitham, Jane C Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Foliar chemistry influences leaf decomposition, but little is known about how litter chemistry affects the assemblage of bacterial communities during decomposition. Here we examined relationships between initial litter chemistry and the composition of the bacterial community in a stream ecosystem. We incubated replicated genotypes of Populus fremontii and P. angustifolia leaf litter that differ in percent tannin and lignin, then followed changes in bacterial community composition during 28 days of decomposition using 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Using a nested experimental design, the majority of variation in bacterial community composition was explained by time (i.e., harvest day) (R2 = 0.50). Plant species, nested within harvest date, explained a significant but smaller proportion of the variation (R2 = 0.03). Significant differences in community composition between leaf species were apparent at day 14, but no significant differences existed among genotypes. Foliar chemistry correlated significantly with community composition at day 14 (r = 0.46) indicating that leaf litter with more similar phytochemistry harbor bacterial communities that are alike. Bacteroidetes and β-proteobacteria dominated the bacterial assemblage on decomposing leaves, and Verrucomicrobia and α- and δ-proteobacteria became more abundant over time. After 14 days, bacterial diversity diverged significantly between leaf litter types with fast-decomposing P. fremontii hosting greater richness than slowly decomposing P. angustifolia; however, differences were no longer present after 28 days in the stream. Leaf litter tannin, lignin, and lignin: N ratios all correlated negatively with diversity. This work shows that the bacterial community on decomposing leaves in streams changes rapidly over time, influenced by leaf species via differences in genotype-level foliar chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial Ecology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 15 2016

Fingerprint

bacterial communities
leaf litter
community composition
chemistry
plant litter
ecosystems
ecosystem
lignin
Populus fremontii
genotype
tannin
decomposition
Proteobacteria
leaves
litter
tannins
degradation
phytochemistry
Populus angustifolia
plant biochemistry

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA
  • Bacteria
  • Leaf litter chemistry
  • Populus
  • Pyrosequencing
  • Streams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science

Cite this

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title = "The Influence of Time and Plant Species on the Composition of the Decomposing Bacterial Community in a Stream Ecosystem",
abstract = "Foliar chemistry influences leaf decomposition, but little is known about how litter chemistry affects the assemblage of bacterial communities during decomposition. Here we examined relationships between initial litter chemistry and the composition of the bacterial community in a stream ecosystem. We incubated replicated genotypes of Populus fremontii and P. angustifolia leaf litter that differ in percent tannin and lignin, then followed changes in bacterial community composition during 28 days of decomposition using 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Using a nested experimental design, the majority of variation in bacterial community composition was explained by time (i.e., harvest day) (R2 = 0.50). Plant species, nested within harvest date, explained a significant but smaller proportion of the variation (R2 = 0.03). Significant differences in community composition between leaf species were apparent at day 14, but no significant differences existed among genotypes. Foliar chemistry correlated significantly with community composition at day 14 (r = 0.46) indicating that leaf litter with more similar phytochemistry harbor bacterial communities that are alike. Bacteroidetes and β-proteobacteria dominated the bacterial assemblage on decomposing leaves, and Verrucomicrobia and α- and δ-proteobacteria became more abundant over time. After 14 days, bacterial diversity diverged significantly between leaf litter types with fast-decomposing P. fremontii hosting greater richness than slowly decomposing P. angustifolia; however, differences were no longer present after 28 days in the stream. Leaf litter tannin, lignin, and lignin: N ratios all correlated negatively with diversity. This work shows that the bacterial community on decomposing leaves in streams changes rapidly over time, influenced by leaf species via differences in genotype-level foliar chemistry.",
keywords = "16S rRNA, Bacteria, Leaf litter chemistry, Populus, Pyrosequencing, Streams",
author = "Wymore, {Adam S.} and Liu, {Cindy M.} and Hungate, {Bruce A} and Egbert Schwartz and Price, {Lance B.} and Whitham, {Thomas G} and Marks, {Jane C}",
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AU - Wymore, Adam S.

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AU - Hungate, Bruce A

AU - Schwartz, Egbert

AU - Price, Lance B.

AU - Whitham, Thomas G

AU - Marks, Jane C

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N2 - Foliar chemistry influences leaf decomposition, but little is known about how litter chemistry affects the assemblage of bacterial communities during decomposition. Here we examined relationships between initial litter chemistry and the composition of the bacterial community in a stream ecosystem. We incubated replicated genotypes of Populus fremontii and P. angustifolia leaf litter that differ in percent tannin and lignin, then followed changes in bacterial community composition during 28 days of decomposition using 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Using a nested experimental design, the majority of variation in bacterial community composition was explained by time (i.e., harvest day) (R2 = 0.50). Plant species, nested within harvest date, explained a significant but smaller proportion of the variation (R2 = 0.03). Significant differences in community composition between leaf species were apparent at day 14, but no significant differences existed among genotypes. Foliar chemistry correlated significantly with community composition at day 14 (r = 0.46) indicating that leaf litter with more similar phytochemistry harbor bacterial communities that are alike. Bacteroidetes and β-proteobacteria dominated the bacterial assemblage on decomposing leaves, and Verrucomicrobia and α- and δ-proteobacteria became more abundant over time. After 14 days, bacterial diversity diverged significantly between leaf litter types with fast-decomposing P. fremontii hosting greater richness than slowly decomposing P. angustifolia; however, differences were no longer present after 28 days in the stream. Leaf litter tannin, lignin, and lignin: N ratios all correlated negatively with diversity. This work shows that the bacterial community on decomposing leaves in streams changes rapidly over time, influenced by leaf species via differences in genotype-level foliar chemistry.

AB - Foliar chemistry influences leaf decomposition, but little is known about how litter chemistry affects the assemblage of bacterial communities during decomposition. Here we examined relationships between initial litter chemistry and the composition of the bacterial community in a stream ecosystem. We incubated replicated genotypes of Populus fremontii and P. angustifolia leaf litter that differ in percent tannin and lignin, then followed changes in bacterial community composition during 28 days of decomposition using 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing. Using a nested experimental design, the majority of variation in bacterial community composition was explained by time (i.e., harvest day) (R2 = 0.50). Plant species, nested within harvest date, explained a significant but smaller proportion of the variation (R2 = 0.03). Significant differences in community composition between leaf species were apparent at day 14, but no significant differences existed among genotypes. Foliar chemistry correlated significantly with community composition at day 14 (r = 0.46) indicating that leaf litter with more similar phytochemistry harbor bacterial communities that are alike. Bacteroidetes and β-proteobacteria dominated the bacterial assemblage on decomposing leaves, and Verrucomicrobia and α- and δ-proteobacteria became more abundant over time. After 14 days, bacterial diversity diverged significantly between leaf litter types with fast-decomposing P. fremontii hosting greater richness than slowly decomposing P. angustifolia; however, differences were no longer present after 28 days in the stream. Leaf litter tannin, lignin, and lignin: N ratios all correlated negatively with diversity. This work shows that the bacterial community on decomposing leaves in streams changes rapidly over time, influenced by leaf species via differences in genotype-level foliar chemistry.

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KW - Pyrosequencing

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