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Contrasting Diversity Patterns of Crenarchaeal, Bacterial and Fungal Soil Communities in an Alpine Landscape

Abstract : Background: The advent of molecular techniques in microbial ecology has aroused interest in gaining an understanding about the spatial distribution of regional pools of soil microbes and the main drivers responsible of these spatial patterns. Here, we assessed the distribution of crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal communities in an alpine landscape displaying high turnover in plant species over short distances. Our aim is to determine the relative contribution of plant species composition, environmental conditions, and geographic isolation on microbial community distribution. Methodology/Principal Findings: Eleven types of habitats that best represent the landscape heterogeneity were investigated. Crenarchaeal, bacterial and fungal communities were described by means of Single Strand Conformation Polymorphism. Relationships between microbial beta diversity patterns were examined by using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities and Principal Coordinate Analyses. Distance-based redundancy analyses and variation partitioning were used to estimate the relative contributions of different drivers on microbial beta diversity. Microbial communities tended to be habitat- specific and did not display significant spatial autocorrelation. Microbial beta diversity correlated with soil pH. Fungal beta- diversity was mainly related to soil organic matter. Though the effect of plant species composition was significant for all microbial groups, it was much stronger for Fungi. In contrast, geographic distances did not have any effect on microbial beta diversity. Conclusions/Significance: Microbial communities exhibit non-random spatial patterns of diversity in alpine landscapes. Crenarcheal, bacterial and fungal community turnover is high and associated with plant species composition through different set of soil variables, but is not caused by geographical isolation.
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Lucie Zinger, David P. H. Lejon, Florence Baptist, Abderrahim Bouasria, Serge Aubert, et al.. Contrasting Diversity Patterns of Crenarchaeal, Bacterial and Fungal Soil Communities in an Alpine Landscape. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2011, 6 (5), pp.e19950. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0019950⟩. ⟨insu-00845128⟩

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