Biogeographical patterns in soil bacterial communities across the Arctic region
The considerable microbial diversity of soils and key role in biogeochemical cycling have led to growing interest in their global distribution and the impact that environmental change might have at the regional level. In the broadest study of Arctic soil bacterial communities to date, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing to investigate the bacterial diversity from 200 independent Arctic soil samples from 43 sites. We quantified the impact of spatial and environmental factors on bacterial community structure using variation partitioning analysis, illustrating a nonrandom distribution across the region. pH was confirmed as the key environmental driver structuring Arctic soil bacterial communities, while total organic carbon (TOC), moisture and conductivity were shown to have little effect. Specialist taxa were more abundant in acidic and alkaline soils while generalist taxa were more abundant in acidoneutral soils. Of the 48 147 bacterial taxa, a core microbiome composed of only 13 taxa that were ubiquitously distributed and present within 95% of samples was identified, illustrating the high potential for endemism in the region. Overall, our results demonstrate the importance of spatial and edaphic factors on the structure of Arctic soil bacterial communities.
Authors: Malard, Lucie A., Anwar, Muhammad Z., Jacobsen, Carsten S., Pearce, David A. ORCID record for David A. Pearce