|Title||Forest plantations reduce soil functioning in terrestrial ecosystems from South Africa|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Amoo A.E, Delgado-Baquerizo M., Babalola O.O|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||Agriculture, bacterial communities, biodiversity, carbon, catabolic diversity, CHINA, Community-level physiological profile, consequences, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, forests, functional diversity, Land use, loess plateau, microbial communities, MicroRespTM, multiple substrate-induced respiration, organic-matter, plantations, rhizosphere, sequestration|
The role of forest plantations in regulating soil ecosystem functions remains poorly understood in terrestrial ecosystems from Africa. Here, we evaluated the importance of forest plantations in regulating soil microbial functional profiles, community-level physiological profiles (CLPPs) and activities of soil microbial communities compared with native forests in two contrasting seasons. We found that forest plantations consistently reduced the rates of multiple soil functions associated with soil nutrient and carbon (C) cycling and shifted the activity and functional profile of microbial communities in two contrasting seasons and two independent regions from South Africa. Our results suggest land use changes from natural forests to plantations to maintain a continuously growing human population will have important negative consequences for soil functions in forest ecosystems from Africa with implications for ecosystem functioning under changing environments.