, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1220–1231 | Cite as

Cross-Biome Drivers of Soil Bacterial Alpha Diversity on a Worldwide Scale

  • Manuel Delgado-BaquerizoEmail author
  • David J. Eldridge


We lack a defined suite of attributes that allow us to universally predict the distribution of bacterial diversity across and within globally distributed biomes. Using data from a global survey, including 237 locations and multiple environmental predictors, we found that only ultraviolet light, forest environments, soil carbon and pH can be considered as significant and globally consistent predictors of soil bacterial diversity, valid within and across biomes (arid, temperate and continental). Bacterial diversity always peaked in grasslands, with moderate-to-low carbon and ultraviolet light levels, and high soil pH. Using these environmental data, we generated the first global predictive map of the distribution of soil bacterial diversity. Our work helps to identify a unique set of environmental attributes for universally predicting the distribution of soil bacterial diversity. This knowledge is key to help predict changes in ecosystem functioning and the provision of essential services under changing environments.


α-diversity terrestrial ecosystems arid continental temperate cross-biome 



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant agreement No 702057.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10021_2018_333_MOESM1_ESM.doc (5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 5156 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología y Geología, Física y Química Inorgánica, Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y TecnologíaUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMóstolesSpain
  3. 3.Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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