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  • Paul George
  • Delphine Lallias
    INRA, Jouy-en-Josas
  • Simon Creer
  • Fiona Seaton
  • John G. Kenny
    University of Liverpool
  • Richard M. Eccles
    University of Liverpool
  • Robert I Griffiths
    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW (UK)
  • I. Lebron
    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW (UK)
  • Bridget Emmett
    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW (UK)
  • David Robinson
    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW (UK)
  • Davey L. Jones
Soil biota accounts for ~25% of global biodiversity and is vital to nutrient cycling and primary production. There is growing momentum to study total belowground biodiversity across large ecological scales to understand how habitat and soil properties shape belowground communities. Microbial and animal components of belowground communities follow divergent responses to soil properties and land use intensification; however, it is unclear whether this extends across heterogeneous ecosystems. Here, a national-scale metabarcoding analysis of 436 locations across 7 different temperate ecosystems shows that belowground animal and microbial (bacteria, archaea, fungi, and protists) richness follow divergent trends, whereas β-diversity does not. Animal richness is governed by intensive land use and unaffected by soil properties, while microbial richness was driven by environmental properties across land uses. Our findings demonstrate that established divergent patterns of belowground microbial and animal diversity are consistent across heterogeneous land uses and are detectable using a standardised metabarcoding approach
Original languageEnglish
Article number1107
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019

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