Hello soil nerds, this might be a little advanced for most of us but here is a great read on microbial biodiversity in our soils. At the very least check out the beautiful charts and graphs below. 😉
Divergent national-scale trends of microbial and animal biodiversity revealed across diverse temperate soil ecosystems
Soil biota accounts for ~25% of global biodiversity and is vital to nutrient cycling and primary production. There is growing momentum to study total belowground biodiversity across large ecological scales to understand how habitat and soil properties shape belowground communities. Microbial and animal components of belowground communities follow divergent responses to soil properties and land use intensification; however, it is unclear whether this extends across heterogeneous ecosystems. Here, a national-scale metabarcoding analysis of 436 locations across 7 different temperate ecosystems shows that belowground animal and microbial (bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protists) richness follow divergent trends, whereas β-diversity does not. Animal richness is governed by intensive land use and unaffected by soil properties, while microbial richness was driven by environmental properties across land uses. Our findings demonstrate that established divergent patterns of belowground microbial and animal diversity are consistent across heterogeneous land uses and are detectable using a standardised metabarcoding approach. Read the full article here!
Sankey diagrams of proportional abundances of OTUs from all samples for major soil biota groups. Arms denote proportions of OTUs at the class-level for a bacteria; b fungi; of major lineages of c protists; class-level for d archaea; and at the phylum-level for e animals. For information on how this figure was created, please see Supplementary Methods.
Proportionate abundances of OTUs for major soil biota groups within each Aggregate Vegetation Class. Land uses are ordered from most (crops/weeds) to least (heath/bog) using the same divisions as Fig. 1 for a bacteria; b fungi; c protists; d archaea; and e animals.
Boxplots of OTU richness for each organismal group. Richness of a bacteria; b fungi; c protists; d archaea; e animals are plotted against Aggregate Vegetation Class ordered from most (crops/weeds) to least (heath/bog) productive. Boxes are bounded on the first and third quartiles; horizontal lines denote medians. Black dots are outliers beyond the whiskers, which denote 1.5× the interquartile range. Source data are provided as a Source Data file.