The global atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by more than 30percent since the industrial revolution. Although the stimulating effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on plant growth and primary productivity have been well studied, its influences on belowground microbial communities are poorly understood and controversial. In this study, we showed a significant change in the structure and functional potential of soil microbial communities at eCO2 in a grassland ecosystem, the BioCON (Biodiversity, CO2 and Nitrogen) experimental site (http://www.biocon.umn.edu/) using a comprehensive functional gene array, GeoChip 3.0, which contains about 28,0000 probes and covers approximately 57,000 gene variants from 292 functional gene families involved in carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycles as well as other functional processes. GeoChip data indicated that the functional structure of microbial communities was markedly different between ambient CO2 (aCO2) and eCO2 by detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) of all 5001 detected functional gene probes although no significant differences were detected in the overall microbial diversity. A further analysis of 1503 detected functional genes involved in C, N, P, and S cycles showed that a considerable portion (39percent) of them were only detected under either aCO2 (14percent) or eCO2 (25percent), indicating that the functional characteristics of the microbial …
May 17, 2010
He, Zhili; Xu, Meiying; Deng, Ye; Kang, Sanghoon; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D. et al.
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