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Elevated carbon dioxide accelerates the spatial turnover of soil microbial communities

Although elevated CO2 (eCO2) significantly affects the a-diversity, composition, function, interaction and dynamics of soil microbial communities at the local scale, little is known about eCO2 impacts on the geographic distribution of micro-organisms regionally or globally. Here, we examined the b-diversity of 110 soil microbial communities across six free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experimental sites using a high-throughput functional gene array. The b-diversity of soil microbial communities was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with geographic distance under both CO2 conditions, but declined significantly (P < 0.05) faster at eCO2 with a slope of 0.0250 than at ambient CO2 (aCO2) with a slope of 0.0231 although it varied within each individual site, indicating that the spatial turnover rate of soil microbial communities was accelerated under eCO2 at a larger geographic scale (e.g. regionally). Both distance and soil properties significantly (P < 0.05) contributed to the observed microbial b-diversity. This study provides new hypotheses for further understanding their assembly mechanisms that may be especially important as global CO2 continues to increase.
Year of Publication
Global Change Biology