Latitudinal and altitudinal patterns of soil nematode communities under tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) in China

  • Jia Liu
  • Qiang Yang
  • Evan Siemann
  • Wei HuangEmail author
  • Jianqing DingEmail author


Because nematodes are an important component of soil ecosystems, patterns of soil nematode community structure along geographic gradients have received considerable attention. However, little is known about the multidimensional spatial patterns of soil nematode communities under specific plants. Here, we examined soil nematode communities associated with roots of tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) along a latitudinal gradient spanning from 19.44° to 33.56° N in China. On Tianzhu mountain in central China (30.69° N), we also examined the distribution patterns of soil nematode communities associated with roots of T. sebifera along an altitudinal gradient spanning from 100 to 1000 m a.s.l. Through the integration of latitudinal and altitudinal gradients, our results show that latitudinal patterns of soil nematode community structure are mainly quadratic (low nematode abundance at mid-latitude), whereas altitudinal patterns are mainly linear (low nematode abundance at high altitude). Along with the differences in distribution pattern between latitudinal and altitudinal gradients, the relationship of factors to soil nematode community structure was also quite different in the two surveys. These results suggest that multidimensional and multifactorial studies are essential for revealing spatial distribution patterns, as well as the driving mechanisms, of soil nematode community structure.


Soil nematodes Trophic groups Multidimensional gradients Triadica sebifera Spatial distribution patterns 



We thank Jialiang Zhang and Li Xiao for field assistance. We also thank Manqiang Liu and Xiaoyun Chen for guidance in identifying soil nematodes. This study was supported by The National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC1200100 JD), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31470447 and 31822007 to WH, 31700448 and 31870521 to QY).

Author contributions

JD and QY designed the experiments. JL and QY conducted the experiments. JL, WH, and ES analyzed data. JL wrote the manuscript. All authors revised and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11258_2019_966_MOESM1_ESM.docx (765 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 764 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Core Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of BiosciencesRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  6. 6.School of Life SciencesHenan UniversityKaifengChina

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