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Spatial scaling effects on soil bacterial communities in Malaysian tropical forests


Tripathi, Binu Mani and Lee Cruz, Larisa and Kim, Mincheol and Singh, Dharmesh and Go, Rusea and Ab. Shukor, Nor Aini and Mohd Hanif, Ahmad Husni and Chun, Jongsik and Adams, Jonathan M. (2014) Spatial scaling effects on soil bacterial communities in Malaysian tropical forests. Microbial Ecology, 68 (2). pp. 247-258. ISSN 0095-3628; ESSN:1432-184X


Spatial scaling to some extent determines biodiversity patterns in larger organisms, but its role in microbial diversity patterns is much less understood. Some studies have shown that bacterial community similarity decreases with distance, whereas others do not support this. Here, we studied soil bacterial communities of tropical rainforest in Malaysia at two spatial scales: a local scale with samples spaced every 5 m over a 150-m transect, and a regional scale with samples 1 to 1,800 km apart. PCR-amplified soil DNA for the bacterial 16S rRNA gene targeting the V1–V3 region was pyrosequenced using Roche/454 GS FLX Titanium platform. A ranked partial Mantel test showed a weak correlation between spatial distance and whole bacterial community dissimilarity, but only at the local scale. In contrast, environmental distance was highly correlated with community dissimilarity at both spatial scales, stressing the greater role of environmental variables rather than spatial distance in determining bacterial community variation at different spatial scales. Soil pH was the only environmental parameter that significantly explained the variance in bacterial community at the local scale, whereas total nitrogen and elevation were additional important factors at the regional scale. We obtained similar results at both scales when only the most abundant OTUs were analyzed. A variance partitioning analysis showed that environmental variables contributed more to bacterial community variation than spatial distance at both scales. In total, our results support a strong influence of the environment in determining bacterial community composition in the rainforests of Malaysia. However, it is possible that the remaining spatial distance effect is due to some of the myriad of other environmental factors which were not considered here, rather than dispersal limitation.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Agriculture
Faculty of Science
Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-014-0404-7
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Keywords: Spatial scaling effects; Soil bacterial communities; Malaysian tropical forests; Malaysia
Depositing User: Nurul Ainie Mokhtar
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2016 01:39
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2016 01:39
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.1007/s00248-014-0404-7
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/35428
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