EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Microbial diversity drives carbon use efficiency in a model soil

Luiz A. Domeignoz-Horta1, Grace Pold2, Xiao-jun A. Liu1, Serita D. Frey3, Jerry M. Melillo4, and Kristen M. DeAngelis1
Luiz A. Domeignoz-Horta et al.
  • 1University of Massachusetts, Department of Microbiology, Amherst, MA 01003, United States of America (
  • 2Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, United States of America
  • 3School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, United States of America
  • 4The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratories, Woods Hole, MA 02543, United States of America

Empirical evidence for the response of soil carbon cycling to the combined effects of warming, drought and diversity loss is scarce. Microbial carbon use efficiency (CUE) plays a central role in regulating the flow of carbon through soil, yet how biotic and abiotic factors interact to drive it remains unclear. Here, we combined distinct community inocula (biotic factor) with different temperature and moisture conditions (abiotic factors) to manipulate microbial diversity and community structure within a model soil system. Abiotic factors indirectly influenced CUE through their impacts on diversity and community structure, which were the strongest predictors of CUE. We also found that abiotic factors modulated the relationship between diversity and CUE, with CUE being positively correlated with bacterial diversity under high moisture. Altogether these results indicate that drier soils diminished the synergistic effect between diversity and CUE, with potential consequences for the fate of C in soils.

How to cite: Domeignoz-Horta, L. A., Pold, G., Liu, X.-A., Frey, S. D., Melillo, J. M., and DeAngelis, K. M.: Microbial diversity drives carbon use efficiency in a model soil, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20248,, 2020


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