Impact of logging and forest conversion to oil palm plantations on soil bacterial communities in Borneo

Lee-Cruz, Larisa, Edwards, David P., Tripathi, Binu M., and Adams, Jonathan M. (2013) Impact of logging and forest conversion to oil palm plantations on soil bacterial communities in Borneo. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79 (23). pp. 7290-7297.

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Abstract

Tropical forests are being rapidly altered by logging and cleared for agriculture. Understanding the effects of these land use changes on soil bacteria, which constitute a large proportion of total biodiversity and perform important ecosystem functions, is a major conservation frontier. Here we studied the effects of logging history and forest conversion to oil palm plantations in Sabah, Borneo, on the soil bacterial community. We used paired-end Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, V3 region, to compare the bacterial communities in primary, once-logged, and twice-logged forest and land converted to oil palm plantations. Bacteria were grouped into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the 97% similarity level, and OTU richness and local-scale α-diversity showed no difference between the various forest types and oil palm plantations. Focusing on the turnover of bacteria across space, true β-diversity was higher in oil palm plantation soil than in forest soil, whereas community dissimilarity-based metrics of β-diversity were only marginally different between habitats, suggesting that at large scales, oil palm plantation soil could have higher overall γ-diversity than forest soil, driven by a slightly more heterogeneous community across space. Clearance of primary and logged forest for oil palm plantations did, however, significantly impact the composition of soil bacterial communities, reflecting in part the loss of some forest bacteria, whereas primary and logged forests did not differ in composition. Overall, our results suggest that the soil bacteria of tropical forest are to some extent resilient or resistant to logging but that the impacts of forest conversion to oil palm plantations are more severe.

Item ID: 31758
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1098-5336
Funders: National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)
Projects and Grants: NRF-2013-031400
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 09:32
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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