Climate warming restructures seasonal dynamics of grassland soil microbial communities

Xue Guo, Mengting Yuan, Jiesi Lei, Zhou Shi, Xishu Zhou, Jiabao Li, Ye Deng, Yunfeng Yang, Liyou Wu, Yiqi Luo, James M. Tiedje, Jizhong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Soil microbial community's responses to climate warming alter the global carbon cycle. In temperate ecosystems, soil microbial communities function along seasonal cycles. However, little is known about how the responses of soil microbial communities to warming vary when the season changes. In this study, we investigated the seasonal dynamics of soil bacterial community under experimental warming in a temperate tall-grass prairie ecosystem. Our results showed that warming significantly (p = 0.001) shifted community structure, such that the differences of microbial communities between warming and control plots increased nonlinearly (R2 = 0.578, p = 0.021) from spring to winter. Also, warming significantly (p < 0.050) increased microbial network complexity and robustness, especially during the colder seasons, despite large variations in network size and complexity in different seasons. In addition, the relative importance of stochastic processes in shaping the microbial community decreased by warming in fall and winter but not in spring and summer. Our study indicates that climate warming restructures the seasonal dynamics of soil microbial community in a temperate ecosystem. Such seasonality of microbial responses to warming may enlarge over time and could have significant impacts on the terrestrial carbon cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • climate warming
  • microbial community
  • microbial network
  • seasonal dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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