Effects of Forest Age on Soil Fungal Community in a Northern Temperate Ecosystem
Soil microbial communities undergo rapid shifts following modifications in environmental conditions. Although microbial diversity changes may alter soil functioning, the in situ temporal dynamics of microbial diversity is poorly documented. Here, we investigated the response of fungal and bacterial diversity to wheat straw input in a 12-months field experiment and explored whether this response depended on the soil management history (grassland vs. cropland). Seasonal climatic fluctuations had no effect on the diversity of soil communities. Contrastingly fungi and bacteria responded strongly to wheat regardless of the soil history. After straw incorporation, diversity decreased due to the temporary dominance of a subset of copiotrophic populations. While fungi responded as quickly as bacteria, the resilience of fungal diversity lasted much longer, indicating that the relative involvement of each community might change as decomposition progressed. Soil history did not affect the response patterns, but determined the identity of some of the populations stimulated. Most strikingly, the bacteria Burkholderia, Lysobacter and fungi Rhizopus, Fusarium were selectively stimulated. Given the ecological importance of these microbial groups as decomposers and/or plant pathogens, such regulation of the composition of microbial successions by soil history may have important consequences in terms of soil carbon turnover and crop health.