|Title||Microbial Functional Diversity Associated with Plant Litter Decomposition Along a Climatic Gradient|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Sherman C, Steinberger Y|
|Date Published||August 01|
|Type of Article||journal article|
Predicted changes in climate associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions can cause increases in global mean temperature and changes in precipitation regimes. These changes may affect key soil processes, e.g., microbial CO2 evolution and biomass, mineralization rates, primary productivity, biodiversity, and litter decomposition, which play an important role in carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Our study examined the changes in litter microbial communities and decomposition along a climatic gradient, ranging from arid desert to humid Mediterranean regions in Israel. Wheat straw litter bags were placed in arid, semi-arid, Mediterranean, and humid Mediterranean sites. Samples were collected seasonally over a 2-year period in order to evaluate mass loss, litter moisture, C/N ratio, bacterial colony-forming units (CFUs), microbial CO2 evolution and biomass, microbial functional diversity, and catabolic profile. Decomposition rate was the highest during the first year of the study at the Mediterranean and arid sites. Community-level physiological profile and microbial biomass were the highest in summer, while bacterial CFUs were the highest in winter. Microbial functional diversity was found to be highest at the humid Mediterranean site, whereas substrate utilization increased at the arid site. Our results support the assumption that climatic factors control litter degradation and regulate microbial activity.
|Short Title||Microb Ecol|