Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michael S. Strickland; Christian Lauber; Noah Fierer; Mark A. Bradford
    Date: 2009
    Source: Ecology
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.28 MB)

    Description

    A critical assumption underlying terrestrial ecosystem models is that soil microbial communities, when placed in a common environment, will function in an identical manner regardless of the composition of that community. Given high species diversity in microbial communities and the ability of microbes to adapt rapidly to new conditions, this assumption of functional redundancy seems plausible. We test the assumption by comparing litter decomposition rates in experimental microcosms inoculated with distinct microbial communities. We find that rates of carbon dioxide production from litter decomposition were dependent upon the microbial inoculum, with differences in the microbial community alone accounting for substantial (;20%) variation in total carbon mineralized. Communities that shared a common history with a given foliar litter exhibited higher decomposition rates when compared to communities foreign to that habitat. Our results suggest that the implicit assumption in ecosystem models (i.e., microbial communities in the same environment are functionally equivalent) is incorrect. To predict accurately how biogeochemical processes will respond to global change may require consideration of the community composition and/or adaptation of microbial communities to past resource environments.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Strickland, Michael S.; Lauber, Christian; Fierer, Noah; Bradford, Mark A. 2009. Testing the functional significance of microbial community composition. Ecology. 90(2): 441-451.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/33896