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Environ Microbiol. 2008 Apr;10(4):926-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2007.01512.x. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Elevated atmospheric CO2 affects soil microbial diversity associated with trembling aspen.

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Brookhaven National Laboratory, Biology Department, Building 463, Upton, New York 11973-5000, USA.


The effects of elevated atmospheric CO(2) (560 p.p.m.) and subsequent plant responses on the soil microbial community composition associated with trembling aspen was assessed through the classification of 6996 complete ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from the Rhinelander WI free-air CO(2) and O(3) enrichment (FACE) experiments microbial community metagenome. This in-depth comparative analysis provides an unprecedented, detailed and deep branching profile of population changes incurred as a response to this environmental perturbation. Total bacterial and eukaryotic abundance does not change; however, an increase in heterotrophic decomposers and ectomycorrhizal fungi is observed. Nitrate reducers of the domain bacteria and archaea, of the phylum Crenarchaea, potentially implicated in ammonium oxidation, significantly decreased with elevated CO(2). These changes in soil biota are evidence for altered interactions between trembling aspen and the microorganisms in its surrounding soil, and support the theory that greater plant detritus production under elevated CO(2) significantly alters soil microbial community composition.

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