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): Melanie Hodel; Martin Schütz; Martijn L. Vandegehuchte; Beat Frey; Matthias Albrecht; Matt D. Busse; Anita C. Risch
    Date: 2014
    Source: Microbial Ecology. 68(3): 584-595
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (455.26 KB)

    Description

    Grassland ecosystems support large communities of aboveground herbivores that can alter ecosystem processes. Thus, grazing by herbivores can directly and indirectly affect belowground properties such as the microbial community structure and diversity. Even though multiple species of functionally different herbivores coexist in grassland ecosystems, most studies have only considered the impact of a single group, i.e. large ungulates (mostly domestic livestock) on microbial communities. Thus, we investigated how the exclusion of four groups of functionally different herbivores affects bacterial community structure, diversity and abundance in two vegetation types with different grazing histories. We progressively excluded large, medium and small mammals as well as invertebrate herbivores using exclosures at 18 subalpine grassland sites (nine per vegetation type). We assessed the bacterial community composition using terminal restriction fragment length polyphormism (T-RFLP) on each site and exclosure type in three consecutive years (2009-2011) for rhizosphere and mineral soil separately. In addition, we determined microbial biomass carbon, root biomass, plant carbon:nitrogen ratio, soil temperature and moisture. Even though several of these variables were affected by herbivore exclusion and vegetation type, this did, against our expectations, not affect bacterial community structure, diversity or abundance, as we found no treatment or vegetation effects. In contrast, the bacterial communities strongly differed between the three growing seasons. Our study indicates that the inter-annual variability in soil micro-climate has much stronger effects on the soil bacterial communities than the alterations in these variables caused by changes in grazing regime or by different vegetation types in our high-elevation ecosystems.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to psw_communications@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

    Hodel, Melanie; Schütz, Martin; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Frey, Beat; Albrecht, Matthias; Busse, Matt D.; Risch, Anita C. 2014. Does the aboveground herbivore assemblage influence soil bacterial community composition and richness in subalpine grasslands? Microbial Ecology. 68(3): 584-595.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Herbivore exclusion, climate, spatio-temporal patterns, high-elevation ecosystems, invertebrates, mammals

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/49520