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Article

Changes in Soil Microbial Communities across an Urbanization Gradient: A Local-Scale Temporal Study in the Arid Southwestern USA

Department of Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisa Gamalero
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071470
Received: 21 June 2021 / Revised: 7 July 2021 / Accepted: 8 July 2021 / Published: 9 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
Urban development is one of the leading causes of biodiversity change. Understanding how soil microorganisms respond to urbanization is particularly important because they are crucial for the provisioning of ecosystem functions and services. Here, we collected monthly soil samples over one year across three locations representing an urbanization gradient (low-moderate-high) in the arid Southwestern USA, and we characterized their microbial communities using marker gene sequencing. Our results showed that microbial richness and community composition exhibited nonsignificant changes over time regardless of the location. Soil fungal richness was lower in moderately and highly urbanized locations, but soil bacterial/archaeal richness was not significantly different among locations. Both bacteria/archaea and fungi exhibited significant differences in community composition across locations. After inferring potential functional groups, soils in the highly urbanized location had lower proportions of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil saprotrophic fungi but had higher proportions of bacterial taxa involved in aromatic compound degradation, human pathogens, and intracellular parasites. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria were more abundant in the highly urbanized location, but ammonia-oxidizing archaea were more abundant in lowly and moderately urbanized locations. Together, these results highlight the significant changes in belowground microbial communities across an urbanization gradient, and these changes might have important implications for aboveground–belowground interactions, nutrient cycling, and human health. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; temporal dynamics; arid ecosystems; bacteria/archaea; fungi urbanization; temporal dynamics; arid ecosystems; bacteria/archaea; fungi
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, Y.; Martinez, A.; Cleavenger, S.; Rudolph, J.; Barberán, A. Changes in Soil Microbial Communities across an Urbanization Gradient: A Local-Scale Temporal Study in the Arid Southwestern USA. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1470. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071470

AMA Style

Chen Y, Martinez A, Cleavenger S, Rudolph J, Barberán A. Changes in Soil Microbial Communities across an Urbanization Gradient: A Local-Scale Temporal Study in the Arid Southwestern USA. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(7):1470. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071470

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Yongjian, Adalee Martinez, Sydney Cleavenger, Julia Rudolph, and Albert Barberán. 2021. "Changes in Soil Microbial Communities across an Urbanization Gradient: A Local-Scale Temporal Study in the Arid Southwestern USA" Microorganisms 9, no. 7: 1470. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071470

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