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dc.contributor.authorThomas, Andrew D.
dc.contributor.authorTooth, Stephen
dc.contributor.authorWu, Li
dc.contributor.authorElliott, David R.
dc.date.accessioned2020-11-06T08:57:36Z
dc.date.available2020-11-06T08:57:36Z
dc.date.issued2020-10-09
dc.identifier.citationLan, S., Thomas, A.D., Tooth, S., Wu, L. and Elliott, D.R., (2020). 'Effects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest Kalahari'. Science of The Total Environment, 142847, pp. 1-11.en_US
dc.identifier.issn00489697
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142847
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/625335
dc.description.abstractShrub encroachment is occurring in many of the world's drylands, but its impacts on ecosystem structure and function are still poorly understood. In particular, it remains unclear how shrub encroachment affects dryland soil surfaces, including biological soil crust (biocrust) communities. In this study, soil surfaces (0–1 cm depth) were sampled from areas of Grewia flava shrubs and Eragrostis lehmanniana and Schmidtia kalahariensis grasses in the southwest Kalahari during two different seasons (March and November). Our hypothesis is that the presence of different vegetation cover types (shrubs versus grasses) alters the microbial composition of soil surfaces owing to their contrasting microenvironments. The results showed that more significant differences in microclimate (light, soil surface temperatures) and soil surface microbial communities were observed between shrubs and grasses than between sampling seasons. Based on high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing, our findings showed that approximately one third (33.5%) of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) occurred exclusively in soil surfaces beneath shrubs. Soil surfaces with biocrusts in grass areas were dominated by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus steenstrupii, whereas the soil surfaces beneath shrubs were dominated by the proteobacteria Microvirga flocculans. Soil surfaces beneath shrubs are associated with reduced cyanobacterial abundance but have higher total carbon and total nitrogen contents compared to biocrusts in grass areas. These findings infer changes in the relative contributions from different sources of carbon and nitrogen (e.g. cyanobacterial and non-cyanobacterial fixation, plant litter, animal activity). The distinctive microbial composition and higher carbon and nitrogen contents in soil surfaces beneath shrubs may provide a positive feedback mechanism promoting shrub encroachment, which helps to explain why the phenomenon is commonly observed to be irreversible.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was kindly supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant (No. 663830), by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31670456), and by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA17010502).en_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherElsevieren_US
dc.relation.urlhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720363774en_US
dc.rights© 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
dc.subjectShrub encroachmenten_US
dc.subjectBiocrustsen_US
dc.subjectCyanobacteriaen_US
dc.subjectMicrocoleusen_US
dc.subjectCarbonen_US
dc.subjectNitrogenen_US
dc.titleEffects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest Kalaharien_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.contributor.departmentAberystwyth University, Aberystwythen_US
dc.contributor.departmentChinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhanen_US
dc.contributor.departmentWuhan University of Technology, Wuhanen_US
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen_US
dc.identifier.journalScience of The Total Environmenten_US
dc.identifier.eid1-s2.0-S0048969720363774
dc.identifier.piiS0048-9697(20)36377-4
dc.source.journaltitleScience of The Total Environment
dc.source.beginpage142847
dcterms.dateAccepted2020-10-02
dc.author.detail784888en_US


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