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Epiphytic suspended soils from Borneo and Amazonia differ in their microbial community composition

Abstract : Microbial organisms support the high species diversity associated with tropical forests, and likely drive functional processes, but microorganisms found in rainforest canopies are not well understood. We quantified the microbial diversity of suspended soils from two classical epiphytic model systems (bromeliads & bird's nest ferns) across two localities: the Nouragues Reserve in French Guiana and Danum Valley in Malaysian Borneo. Non-epiphytic suspended soils were also collected as controls at the Nouragues Reserve. Effects of epiphyte type and sample location on microbial community composition were determined using Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) analysis. Total microbial biomass remained constant across the suspended soil types, but PLFA peaks denoting the relative abundance of different microbes varied between bromeliads, bird's nest ferns and non-epiphytic control soils. Suspended soils associated with bird's nest ferns from Borneo contained a microbial community significantly different in composition from those of congeneric bird's nest ferns from Amazonia, due to shifts in the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria. Our findings reveal that epiphytes create convergent niches for microorganisms in tropical canopies, while highlighting the sensitive nature of suspended soil microbial communities.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 9:29:43 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 3:47:02 AM



Julian Donald, Pete Maxfield, Céline Leroy, M.D. Farnon Ellwood. Epiphytic suspended soils from Borneo and Amazonia differ in their microbial community composition. Acta Oecologica, Elsevier, 2020, 106, pp.103586. ⟨10.1016/j.actao.2020.103586⟩. ⟨hal-02893141⟩



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