Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 10, pp 4331–4338 | Cite as

Drivers of microbial community structure in forest soils

  • Salvador Lladó
  • Rubén López-Mondéjar
  • Petr Baldrian


Forests are essential biomes for global biogeochemical cycles, and belowground microorganisms have a key role in providing relevant ecosystem services. To predict the effects of environmental changes on these ecosystem services requires a comprehensive understanding of how biotic and abiotic factors drive the composition of microbial communities in soil. However, microorganisms are not homogeneously distributed in complex environments such as soil, with different features affecting microbes at different extent depending on the niche they occupy. Indeed, this spatial heterogeneity hampers the extrapolation of microbial diversity study results from particular habitats to the ecosystem level, even if the resolution of the more recent studies has increased significantly after the standardization of high-throughput sequencing techniques. The present work intends to give a comprehensive view of the knowledge accumulated until date defining the more important drivers determining the structure of forest soil microbial communities from fine to continental scales.


Forest Soil Microbial diversity Drivers Community structure 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEITAT Technological CenterTerrassaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Microbiology of the CASLaboratory of Environmental MicrobiologyPragueCzech Republic

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