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Advances in the influence of global change on soil microorganisms TEXT SIZE: A A A
Unraveling responses and feedbacks of soil microorganisms would help for the comprehensive understanding how global change influences ecosystem service and what’s the possible trajectory in the future in a warmer world. These types of investigations had been conducted for at least two decades using local and/or regional scales, and focusing on linear models. However, global investigations on non-linear patterns were lacking. “Our work provides novel evidences that non-linear patterns drive the relationship between temperature and soil fungal decomposers globally, with important implications for the understanding on global carbon cycling” Prof. Youzhi Feng, from Institute of Soil Science CAS., highlights. For this research, the Institute of Soil Science CAS team up with a group of researchers from the BioFunLab at Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS) Spain, Western Sydney University Australia, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) German and Universidad de Alicante Spain to investigate the influence of temperature on soil fungal decomposers, one important guild for terrestrial carbon cycling, using the space-for-time substitution approach. There are several temperature variables governing abundances of soil fungal decomposers. Specifically, once mean annual temperature transits ~9oC, soil temperature transits ~22oC and max temperature of warmest month transits ~28oC, their abundances drastically decrease. In view of the positive correlation with soil heterotrophic respiration CO2 and the similar threshold values for soil carbon content, such drastic decreases in soil fungal decomposers suggest that increasing temperature would have multiple cascading effects on soil microorganisms driven element biogeochemical cycling, which further leads to unpredictable consequences on ecosystem services. This work further produced the first global map of soil fungal decomposers. Taken together, this work not only advances the current knowledge on the global distribution of soil fungal decomposers, but also highlights that small changes in temperature around certain thresholds can lead to potential unexpected consequences in global carbon cycling under projected climate change. Such study is published in Global Change Biology (https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16096).