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Open AccessArticle

The Soil Microbiome of the Laurel Forest in Garajonay National Park (La Gomera, Canary Islands): Comparing Unburned and Burned Habitats after a Wildfire

1
Grupo de Ecología Genética de la Rizosfera, Departamento de Microbiología del Suelo y Sistemas Simbióticos, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, 18008 Granada, Spain
2
Departamento de Bioquímica, Microbiología, Biología Celular y Genética (área Microbiología), Universidad de La Laguna, 38200 La Laguna, Spain
3
Departamento de Biología Animal, Edafología y Geología, Universidad de La Laguna, 38200 La Laguna, Spain
4
Departamento de Botánica, Ecología y Fisiología Vegetal, Universidad de La Laguna, 38200 La Laguna, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121051
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 16 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Matter Production and Decomposition in Forest Soils)
The evergreen laurel forest is a relic of ancient subtropical/tropical forests, of which the best remnant in the Canary Islands is in Garajonay National Park, on La Gomera island. The soil microbiome associated with a mature undisturbed (unburned) laurel forest was characterized at two locations at different topographical positions on the mountain: The slope and the ridge crest. Given the unusual circumstance of an intense wildfire that severely affected part of this forest, the burned soils were also studied. The soil in undisturbed areas was relatively uniform. The bacterial community composition was dominated by bacteria from phyla Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. The wildfire changed the composition of the bacterial communities. The Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Alphaproteobacteria (dominant class in unburned forests) significantly decreased in burned soils along with a parallel high increase in Betaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. We further showed the dramatic effect of a wildfire on the soil microbiome of the laurel forest, appearing as a loss of species richness and diversity, species dominance, and changes in the composition of the bacterial communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: laurel forest; wildfire; soil microbiome; Garajonay National Park; pyrosequencing laurel forest; wildfire; soil microbiome; Garajonay National Park; pyrosequencing
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Villadas, P.J.; Díaz-Díaz, S.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A.; del Arco-Aguilar, M.; Fernández-González, A.J.; Pérez-Yépez, J.; Arbelo, C.; González-Mancebo, J.M.; Fernández-López, M.; León-Barrios, M. The Soil Microbiome of the Laurel Forest in Garajonay National Park (La Gomera, Canary Islands): Comparing Unburned and Burned Habitats after a Wildfire. Forests 2019, 10, 1051.

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