Land use alters the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to drought

Nature Climate Change
By: , and 



Soils deliver several ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling, which are of central importance to climate mitigation and sustainable food production. Soil biota play an important role in carbon and nitrogen cycling, and, although the effects of land use on soil food webs are well documented the consequences for their resistance and resilience to climate change are not known. We compared the resistance and resilience to drought--which is predicted to increase under climate change of soil food webs of two common land-use systems: intensively managed wheat with a bacterial-based soil food web and extensively managed grassland with a fungal-based soil food web. We found that the fungal-based food web, and the processes of C and N loss it governs, of grassland soil was more resistant, although not resilient, and better able to adapt to drought than the bacterial-based food web of wheat soil. Structural equation modelling revealed that fungal-based soil food webs and greater microbial evenness mitigated C and N loss. Our findings show that land use strongly affects the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to climate change, and that extensively managed grassland promotes more resistant, and adaptable, fungal-based soil food webs.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Land use alters the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to drought
Series title Nature Climate Change
DOI 10.1038/nclimate1368
Volume 2012
Issue 2
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Publisher location London, U.K.
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Nature Climate Change
First page 276
Last page 280
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details