Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events

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dc.contributor.author Frossard, Aline
dc.contributor.author Ramond, Jean-Baptiste
dc.contributor.author Seely, Mary
dc.contributor.author Cowan, Don A.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T06:14:06Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-04T06:14:06Z
dc.date.issued 2015-07-21
dc.description.abstract Despite the dominance of microorganisms in arid soils, the structures and functional dynamics of microbial communities in hot deserts remain largely unresolved. The effects of wetting event frequency and intensity on Namib Desert microbial communities from two soils with different water-regime histories were tested over 36 days. A total of 168 soil microcosms received wetting events mimicking fog, light rain and heavy rainfall, with a parallel “dry condition” control. T-RFLP data showed that the different wetting events affected desert microbial community structures, but these effects were attenuated by the effects related to the long-term adaptation of both fungal and bacterial communities to soil origins (i.e. soil water regime histories). The intensity of the water pulses (i.e. the amount of water added) rather than the frequency of wetting events had greatest effect in shaping bacterial and fungal community structures. In contrast to microbial diversity, microbial activities (enzyme activities) showed very little response to the wetting events and were mainly driven by soil origin. This experiment clearly demonstrates the complexity of microbial community responses to wetting events in hyperarid hot desert soil ecosystems and underlines the dynamism of their indigenous microbial communities. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2015 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The South African National Research Foundation (NRF 88303) and the University of Pretoria. en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.nature.com/scientificreports en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Frossard, A, Ramond, J-B, Seely, M & Cowan, DA 2015, 'Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events', Scientific Reports, vol. 5, pp. 1-13. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322
dc.identifier.other 10.1038/srep12263
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/50319
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Nature Publishing Group en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015 [Author et al]. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Arid soils en_ZA
dc.subject Water en_ZA
dc.subject Namib Desert en_ZA
dc.subject Microbial communities en_ZA
dc.title Water regime history drives responses of soil Namib Desert microbial communities to wetting events en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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