van Diepen Linda T. A.

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van Diepen
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Linda T. A.

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  • Article
    Long-term warming alters carbohydrate degradation potential in temperate forest soils
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2016-09-02) Pold, Grace ; Billings, Andrew F. ; Blanchard, Jeffrey L. ; Burkhardt, Daniel B. ; Frey, Serita D. ; Melillo, Jerry M. ; Schnabel, Julia ; van Diepen, Linda T. A. ; DeAngelis, Kristen M.
    As Earth's climate warms, soil carbon pools and the microbial communities that process them may change, altering the way in which carbon is recycled in soil. In this study, we used a combination of metagenomics and bacterial cultivation to evaluate the hypothesis that experimentally raising soil temperatures by 5°C for 5, 8, or 20 years increased the potential for temperate forest soil microbial communities to degrade carbohydrates. Warming decreased the proportion of carbohydrate-degrading genes in the organic horizon derived from eukaryotes and increased the fraction of genes in the mineral soil associated with Actinobacteria in all studies. Genes associated with carbohydrate degradation increased in the organic horizon after 5 years of warming but had decreased in the organic horizon after warming the soil continuously for 20 years. However, a greater proportion of the 295 bacteria from 6 phyla (10 classes, 14 orders, and 34 families) isolated from heated plots in the 20-year experiment were able to depolymerize cellulose and xylan than bacterial isolates from control soils. Together, these findings indicate that the enrichment of bacteria capable of degrading carbohydrates could be important for accelerated carbon cycling in a warmer world.
  • Article
    Long-term forest soil warming alters microbial communities in temperate forest soils
    (Frontiers Media, 2015-02-13) DeAngelis, Kristen M. ; Pold, Grace ; Topcuoglu, Begum D. ; van Diepen, Linda T. A. ; Varney, Rebecca M. ; Blanchard, Jeffrey L. ; Melillo, Jerry M. ; Frey, Serita D.
    Soil microbes are major drivers of soil carbon cycling, yet we lack an understanding of how climate warming will affect microbial communities. Three ongoing field studies at the Harvard Forest Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site (Petersham, MA) have warmed soils 5°C above ambient temperatures for 5, 8, and 20 years. We used this chronosequence to test the hypothesis that soil microbial communities have changed in response to chronic warming. Bacterial community composition was studied using Illumina sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, and bacterial and fungal abundance were assessed using quantitative PCR. Only the 20-year warmed site exhibited significant change in bacterial community structure in the organic soil horizon, with no significant changes in the mineral soil. The dominant taxa, abundant at 0.1% or greater, represented 0.3% of the richness but nearly 50% of the observations (sequences). Individual members of the Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria showed strong warming responses, with one Actinomycete decreasing from 4.5 to 1% relative abundance with warming. Ribosomal RNA copy number can obfuscate community profiles, but is also correlated with maximum growth rate or trophic strategy among bacteria. Ribosomal RNA copy number correction did not affect community profiles, but rRNA copy number was significantly decreased in warming plots compared to controls. Increased bacterial evenness, shifting beta diversity, decreased fungal abundance and increased abundance of bacteria with low rRNA operon copy number, including Alphaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria, together suggest that more or alternative niche space is being created over the course of long-term warming.
  • Article
    Fungal community response to long-term soil warming with potential implications for soil carbon dynamics
    (Ecological Society of America, 2021-05-11) Pec, Gregory J. ; van Diepen, Linda T. A. ; Knorr, Melissa ; Grandy, A. Stuart ; Melillo, Jerry M. ; DeAngelis, Kristen M. ; Blanchard, Jeffrey L. ; Frey, Serita D.
    The direction and magnitude of climate warming effects on ecosystem processes such as carbon cycling remain uncertain. Soil fungi are central to these processes due to their roles as decomposers of soil organic matter, as mycorrhizal symbionts, and as determinants of plant diversity. Yet despite their importance to ecosystem functioning, we lack a clear understanding of the long-term response of soil fungal communities to warming. Toward this goal, we characterized soil fungal communities in two replicated soil warming experiments at the Harvard Forest (Petersham, Massachusetts, USA) which had experienced 5°C above ambient soil temperatures for 5 and 20 yr at the time of sampling. We assessed fungal diversity and community composition by sequencing the ITS2 region of rDNA using Illumina technology, along with soil C concentrations and chemistry. Three main findings emerged: (1) long-, but not short-term warming resulted in compositional shifts in the soil fungal community, particularly in the saprotrophic and unknown components of the community; (2) soil C concentrations and the total C stored in the organic horizon declined in response to both short- (5 yr) and long-term (20 yr) warming; and (3) following long-term warming, shifts in fungal guild relative abundances were associated with substantial changes in soil organic matter chemistry, particularly the relative abundance of lignin. Taken together, our results suggest that shifts with warming in the relative abundance of fungal functional groups and dominant fungal taxa are related to observed losses in total soil C.