Elevated carbon dioxide accelerates the spatial turnover of soil microbial communities

Ye Deng, Zhili He, Jinbo Xiong, Hao Yu, Meiying Xu, Sarah E. Hobbie, Peter B. Reich, Christopher W. Schadt, Angela Kent, Elise Pendall, Matthew Wallenstein, Jizhong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although elevated CO2 (eCO2) significantly affects the α-diversity, composition, function, interaction and dynamics of soil microbial communities at the local scale, little is known about eCO2 impacts on the geographic distribution of micro-organisms regionally or globally. Here, we examined the β-diversity of 110 soil microbial communities across six free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experimental sites using a high-throughput functional gene array. The β-diversity of soil microbial communities was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with geographic distance under both CO2 conditions, but declined significantly (P < 0.05) faster at eCO2 with a slope of -0.0250 than at ambient CO2 (aCO2) with a slope of -0.0231 although it varied within each individual site, indicating that the spatial turnover rate of soil microbial communities was accelerated under eCO2 at a larger geographic scale (e.g. regionally). Both distance and soil properties significantly (P < 0.05) contributed to the observed microbial β-diversity. This study provides new hypotheses for further understanding their assembly mechanisms that may be especially important as global CO2 continues to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-964
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal change biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Elevated carbon dioxide
  • Free air CO enrichment
  • Microbial community
  • Spatial turnover rate
  • β-diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • General Environmental Science


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