The soil microbiome governs the response of microbial respiration to warming across the globe

Author: Saez-Sandino, Tadeo; Garci­a-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T.; Plaza, Cesar; Guirado, Emilio; Singh, Brajesh K.; Wang, Juntao; Cano-Diaz, Concha; Eisenhauer, Nico; Gallardo, Antonio; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel

Description: The sensitivity of soil microbial respiration to warming (Q10) remains a major source of uncertainty surrounding the projections of soil carbon emissions to the atmosphere as the factors driving Q10 patterns across ecosystems have been assessed in isolation from each other. Here we report the results of a warming experiment using soils from 332 sites across all continents and major biomes to simultaneously evaluate the main drivers of global Q10 patterns. Compared with biochemical recalcitrance, mineral protection, substrate quantity and environmental factors, the soil microbiome (that is, microbial biomass and bacterial taxa) explained the largest portion of variation in Q10 values. Our work provides solid evidence that soil microbiomes largely govern the responses of soil heterotrophic respiration to warming and thus need to be explicitly accounted for when assessing land carbon–climate feedbacks.

Subject headings: Biogeochemistry; Climate change ecology; Soil microbiome; Warming; Heat; Soil respiration

Publication year: 2023

Journal or book title: Nature Climate Change

Volume: 13

Issue: 12

Pages: 1382-1387

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Serial number: 3950