Impacts of plant domestication on soil microbial and nematode communities during litter decomposition
Purpose Plant domestication altered leaf litter quality. Since litter traits relate to soil functions and organisms (i.e., litter decomposition and soil decomposer communities), in this study we explore if domestication-induced changes in litter quality have afected their decomposability, and bacterial, fungal, and nematode communities in the soil. Methods We collected leaf litter from herbaceous crops and their wild progenitors, and measured litter chemical and physical traits. Then, we performed a litter decomposition assay on a common soil. After three months of litter incubation, we measured mass loss, nematode richness and community composition in ten crops. We also measured soil bacterial and fungal richness and community composition in six crops. Results Domesticated litters had less carbon (C) and leaf dry matter content (LDMC), which accelerated decomposition in comparison to wild litters. Fungal richness was higher in microcosms incubated with domesticated litters, while the efects of domestication on bacterial richness difered among crops. Domestication did not afect nematode richness. The efects of domestication on bacterial and fungal community compositions difered among crops. Soils with domesticated litters tended to have nematode communities with a higher abundance of bacterial feeding nematodes, in comparison to soils fed with wild litters. Conclusion Domestication altered decomposition at diferent levels. Leaf litter decomposability increased with domestication, which might alter resource inputs into the soil. Feeding soils with domesticated litters had idiosyncratic efects on soil microbes, but consistent efects on soil nematodes. Overall, domestication altered the linkages between crop residues and soil communities diferently for bacteria, fungi, and nematodes.
Acknowledgements We thank Nieves Martín Robles and Rocío Vigo for assistance with data gathering and lab work. We also thank all seed providers. This work was supported by MINECO (grants CGL2014-56567-R, CGL2017-83855-R, BES-2012-054356, PCIN-2014-053, PID2020-113021RA-I00), the European Union (Eco-serve project, 2013–2014 BiodivERsA/FACCE-JPI, with the national funders ANR, NWO, FCT, MINECO, FORMAS, and SNSF) and MICROAGRO (Fundación BBVA, Spain). JP was supported by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (FPI fellowship PRE2018-085280), PGP was supported by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (grant PID2020-113021RA-I00). We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments, which made our work clearer and more complete. Funding Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature.
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