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Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Nov 22;281(1795). pii: 20141988. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1988.

Biogeographic patterns in below-ground diversity in New York City's Central Park are similar to those observed globally.

Author information

1
School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
3
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
4
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA.
5
Illumina UK, Chesterford Research Park, Little Chesterford, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1XL, UK.
6
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
7
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
8
Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
9
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
10
School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
11
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA noah.fierer@colorado.edu.

Abstract

Soil biota play key roles in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, however, compared to our knowledge of above-ground plant and animal diversity, the biodiversity found in soils remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we present an assessment of soil biodiversity and biogeographic patterns across Central Park in New York City that spanned all three domains of life, demonstrating that even an urban, managed system harbours large amounts of undescribed soil biodiversity. Despite high variability across the Park, below-ground diversity patterns were predictable based on soil characteristics, with prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities exhibiting overlapping biogeographic patterns. Further, Central Park soils harboured nearly as many distinct soil microbial phylotypes and types of soil communities as we found in biomes across the globe (including arctic, tropical and desert soils). This integrated cross-domain investigation highlights that the amount and patterning of novel and uncharacterized diversity at a single urban location matches that observed across natural ecosystems spanning multiple biomes and continents.

KEYWORDS:

16S rRNA gene; 18S rRNA gene; Archaea; Bacteria; Eukarya; soil biodiversity

PMID:
25274366
PMCID:
PMC4213626
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2014.1988
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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