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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Effects of Warming on Soil Microbial Communities at Harvard Forest 2011

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  • Lead: Kristen DeAngelis, Jerry Melillo, Serita Frey
  • Investigators: Jeffrey Blanchard, Linda van Diepen
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 2011
  • End date: 2011
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Prospect Hill Tract (Harvard Forest)
  • Latitude: +42.54
  • Longitude: -72.18
  • Elevation: 365 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2017
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.302.3
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: large experiments and permanent plot studies; physiological ecology, population dynamics and species interactions
  • LTER core area: populations
  • Keywords: bacteria, climate change, community dynamics, fungi, microbes, soil, soil warming
  • Abstract:

    As Earth’s climate warms, soil carbon pools and the microbial communities that process them may change, altering the way in which carbon is recycled in soil. In this study, we used a combination of metagenomics and bacterial cultivation to evaluate the hypothesis that experimentally raising soil temperatures by 5°C for 5, 8, or 20 years increased the potential for temperate forest soil microbial communities to degrade carbohydrates. Warming decreased the proportion of carbohydrate-degrading genes in the organic horizon derived from eukaryotes and increased the fraction of genes in the mineral soil associated with Actinobacteria in all studies. Genes associated with carbohydrate degradation increased in the organic horizon after 5 years of warming but had decreased in the organic horizon after warming the soil continuously for 20 years. However, a greater proportion of the 295 bacteria from 6 phyla (10 classes, 14 orders, and 34 families) isolated from heated plots in the 20-year experiment were able to depolymerize cellulose and xylan than bacterial isolates from control soils. Together, these findings indicate that the enrichment of bacteria capable of degrading carbohydrates could be important for accelerated carbon cycling in a warmer world.

  • Methods:

    Complete methods are published in the associated paper. Briefly, soils were collected and immediately flash frozen to -80C. Frozen soils were extracted for DNA, and DNA used for sequencing analysis and quantitative PCR, as described in the published paper. Amplicon sequence data is available at GenBank under accession numbers SRP040706, BioProject ID PRJNA242868.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    DeAngelis K, Melillo J, Frey S. 2017. Effects of Warming on Soil Microbial Communities at Harvard Forest 2011. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF302 (v.3). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

hf302-01: warming quantitative PCR

  1. loc: location
    • PH: Prospect Hill Long-term Warming Study
    • BW: Barre Woods warming study
    • SP: Soil Warming by Nitrogen Experiment
  2. temp: heating treatment
    • Control: control or disturbance control plots
    • Heated: 5C heat treatment plots
  3. m.o: soil type
    • Mineral: 0-10 cm depth mineral soil horizon
    • Organic: organic soil
  4. type: microbial group targeted
  5. sample: plot id number
  6. copies: copies of the genome as a measure of abundance; genome copies detected per gram of soil (unit: number / missing value: NA)