The temperature sensitivity of soil: microbial biodiversity, growth, and carbon mineralization

Chao Wang, Ember M. Morrissey, Rebecca L. Mau, Michaela Hayer, Juan Piñeiro, Michelle C. Mack, Jane C. Marks, Sheryl L. Bell, Samantha N. Miller, Egbert Schwartz, Paul Dijkstra, Benjamin J. Koch, Bram W. Stone, Alicia M. Purcell, Steven J. Blazewicz, Kirsten S. Hofmockel, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Bruce A. Hungate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Microorganisms drive soil carbon mineralization and changes in their activity with increased temperature could feedback to climate change. Variation in microbial biodiversity and the temperature sensitivities (Q10) of individual taxa may explain differences in the Q10 of soil respiration, a possibility not previously examined due to methodological limitations. Here, we show phylogenetic and taxonomic variation in the Q10 of growth (5–35 °C) among soil bacteria from four sites, one from each of Arctic, boreal, temperate, and tropical biomes. Differences in the temperature sensitivities of taxa and the taxonomic composition of communities determined community-assembled bacterial growth Q10, which was strongly predictive of soil respiration Q10 within and across biomes. Our results suggest community-assembled traits of microbial taxa may enable enhanced prediction of carbon cycling feedbacks to climate change in ecosystems across the globe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2738-2747
Number of pages10
JournalISME Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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