Snow cover manipulation effects on microbial community structure and soil chemistry in a mountain bog
- 896 Downloads
Background and Aims
Alterations in snow cover driven by climate change may impact ecosystem functioning, including biogeochemistry and soil (microbial) processes. We elucidated the effects of snow cover manipulation (SCM) on above-and belowground processes in a temperate peatland.
In a Swiss mountain-peatland we manipulated snow cover (addition, removal and control), and assessed the effects on Andromeda polifolia root enzyme activity, soil microbial community structure, and leaf tissue and soil biogeochemistry.
Reduced snow cover produced warmer soils in our experiment while increased snow cover kept soil temperatures close-to-freezing. SCM had a major influence on the microbial community, and prolonged ‘close-to-freezing’ temperatures caused a shift in microbial communities toward fungal dominance. Soil temperature largely explained soil microbial structure, while other descriptors such as root enzyme activity and pore-water chemistry interacted less with the soil microbial communities.
We envisage that SCM-driven changes in the microbial community composition could lead to substantial changes in trophic fluxes and associated ecosystem processes. Hence, we need to improve our understanding on the impact of frost and freeze-thaw cycles on the microbial food web and its implications for peatland ecosystem processes in a changing climate; in particular for the fate of the sequestered carbon.
KeywordsSoil bacterial and fungal communities Peatland Phosphatase activity Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) Snow cover manipulation Winter Ecology
We would like to thank the “Service des forêts, de la faune et de la nature (SFFN)-Canton Vaud” and “Pro Nature-Vaud” for authorization to access the study site. Sonia Mauerhofer is acknowledged for assistance in site selection, and Annebet Brühl for assistance in field sampling. Robert TE Mills corrected our English, for which many thanks. We thank two anonymous referees and Tim Moore for helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this paper. This study was supported by the Division for Earth and Life Sciences (ALW) with financial aid from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO; Research Innovation Scheme grant 863.10.014) granted to BJMR, by BiodivERsA-PEATBOG which is funded as an ERA-net project within the European Union’s 6th Framework Programme for Research through NWO-ALW (grant 832.09.003), and was partly funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 205321–129981 to LB). We are also indebted to the Miquel Foundation (UU), the Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs, and the Schure-Beijerink-Popping Foundation (KNAW) for financial support to AH.
- Benoy GA, Cash K, Levesque L, McCauley E, Wrona F (2007) Antecedent snow conditions affect water levels and plant biomass of a fen in the southern boreal forest: Results from an experiment using mesocosms. Boreal Environment Research 12:501–513Google Scholar
- Groisman PY, Davies TD (2001) Snow cover and the climate system. In: Jones HG, Pomeroy JW, Walker DA, Hoham RW (eds) Snow Ecology: An interdisciplinary examination ofsnow-covered ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 1–44Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007. The physical science basis. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment. Report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, p 996Google Scholar
- Jassey VE, Chiapusio G, Binet P, Buttler A, Laggoun-Défarge F, Delarue F, Bernard N, Mitchell EA, Toussaint M-L, Francez A-J, Gilbert D (2012) Above-and belowground linkages in Sphagnum-peatland: Climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions. Glob Chang Biol. doi: 10.111/gcb.12075
- Ledger ME, Brown LE, Edwards FK, Milner AM, Woodward G (2012) Drought alters the structure and functioning of complex food webs. Nature Climate Change. doi: 10.1038/nclimate1684
- Lê S, Josse J, Husson F (2008) FactoMineR: An R package for Multivariate Analysis. J Stat Softw 25(1):1–18Google Scholar
- Lipson D, Schmidt S (2004) Seasonal changes in an alpine soil bacterial community in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Applied and Environmental 464. Microbiology 70:2867–2879Google Scholar
- Moore PD, Chapman SB (1976) Methods in Plant Ecology, 2nd ed. Moore PD, Chapman SB, editors. Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
- Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Kindt R, Legendre P, Minchin PR, O’Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Wagner H (2012). vegan: Community Ecology. Package. R package version 2.0–3. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan
- R Development Core Team. (2011) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org/.
- van Dijk J, Robroek, BJM Kardel I,Wassen M (2012) Combined effects of nitrogen enrichment, sulphur pollution and climate change on fen meadow vegetation N:P stoichiometry and biomass. Biogeochemistry doi: 10.1007/s10533-011-9694-8