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Title: Links in the functional diversity between soil microorganisms and plant communities during natural succession in coal mine spoil heaps
Authors: Markowicz, Anna
Woźniak, Gabriela
Borymski, Sławomir
Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia
Chmura, Damian
Keywords: Vegetation development; Dominant plant species; Functional diversity; Microbial community; Community-level physiological profiles
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Ecological Research, 2015, iss. 6, s. 1005-1014
Abstract: The successful establishment of vegetation, soil development and biogeochemical cycling during the restoration process of mine tailings requires a diverse and metabolically active microbial communities. The objective of this study was to test whether there is any link between the functional groups of both the dominant plant species and soil microbial communities on unreclaimed coal mine spoil heaps of different age located in the Silesian Upland (Poland). At each sampling site the dominant plant species were recorded and characterised based on their Raunkiaer’s life form, socio-ecological group and their potential to form mycorrhiza. The functional diversity of the plantassociated microbial communities was assessed using the microbial carbon-utilisation guilds generated using the Biolog method. We observed no differences in the microbial functional diversity, but a gradual increase in the plant functional diversity with the age of the heap. Our results indicate that trees, plants with the potential to form ectomycorrhiza, and deciduous plants strongly affected the carbon-utilisation profiles. The mean proportion of microbe guilds in dominant plant patches accounts for 60 % of the variance while the soil physicochemical parameters explained only 30 % of the variance. This suggest that in post-industrial habitats the biotic features of the soil substratum are more important for the vegetation development than the abiotic parameters.
DOI: 10.1007/s11284-015-1301-3
ISSN: 0912-3814
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