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Increasing aridity reduces microbial diversity

Phys.org/news (DECEMBER 9, 2015 )

Titre : Increasing aridity reduces microbial diversity

A new study drawn from more than 80 dryland sites across the world indicates that increasing aridity reduces abundance and diversity of microbial communities which carry out for most of ecosystem services such as primary production, water filtration and climate regulation.

Phys.org/news (DECEMBER 9, 2015 )

Présentation
With drylands covering nearly 41% of the Earth’s land surface and home to around 38% of the world’s people, these changes pose additional challenges to the sustainability of natural and human populations in dryland regions. Predictions include a growth in the land mass of dryland ecosystems by 10% before the year 2100, indicating that there is considerable need to understand how drying landscapes result in changes to the microbes and their ability to support life in dryland regions.

In this study researchers from across the world drew samples from dryland sites in every continent except Antarctica. The study found that increasingly arid regions of the world feature lower diversity and abundance of key soil microbes, as a result of the lower water availability and soil carbon content of these drier soils. The reduction in soil microbial diversity is thought to be a direct result of reduced soil carbon and increased daytime temperatures.

The results of this study provide a new level of insight and supportive data to the role of climatic change on changes on soil microbial and fungal communities based on ecosystems from across different regions of the world. Because these microbes play a key role in ecosystem services provided by drylands, these findings have significant implication for sustainable development under future climates when the proportion of dryland is projected to increase significantly.

Source  : University of Western Sydney - Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

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