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Predicting soil fungal communities from chemical and physical properties

Bodenhausen, Natacha; Hess, Julia; Valzano, Alain; Deslandes‐Hérold, Gabriel; Waelchli, Jan; Furrer, Reinhard; van der Heijden, Marcel and Schlaeppi, Klaus (2023) Predicting soil fungal communities from chemical and physical properties. Journal Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, 3, pp. 1-13.

[thumbnail of Bodenhausen 2023 Predicting soil fungal communities from chemical and physical properties.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sae2.12055


Biogeography describes spatial patterns of diversity and explains why organisms occur in given conditions. While it is well established that the diversity of soil microbes is largely controlled by edaphic environmental variables, microbiome community prediction from soil properties has received less attention. In this study, we specifically investigated whether it is possible to predict the composition of soil fungal communities based on physicochemical soil data using multivariate ordination.
Materials and Methods
We sampled soil from 59 arable fields in Switzerland and assembled paired data of physicochemical soil properties as well as profiles of soil fungal communities. Fungal communities were characterized using long‐read sequencing of the entire ribosomal internal transcribed spacer. We used redundancy analysis to combine the physical and chemical soil measurements with the fungal community data.
We identified a reduced set of 10 soil properties that explained fungal community composition. Soil properties with the strongest impact on the fungal community included pH, potassium and sand content. Finally, we evaluated the model for its suitability for prediction using leave‐one‐out validation. The prediction of community composition was successful for most soils, and only 3/59 soils could not be well predicted (Pearson correlation coefficients between observed and predicted communities of <0.5). Further, we successfully validated our prediction approach with a publicly available data set. With both data sets, prediction was less successful for soils characterized by very unique properties or diverging fungal communities, while it was successful for soils with similar characteristics and microbiome.
Reliable prediction of microbial communities from chemical soil properties could bypass the complex and laborious sequencing‐based generation of microbiota data, thereby making soil microbiome information available for agricultural purposes such as pathogen monitoring, field inoculation or yield projections.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:microorganisms, microbial ecology, prediction, Abacus, FiBL10206, FiBL10188, FiBL10113
Agrovoc keywords:
microbes -> microorganisms
microbial ecology
prediction -> forecasting
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > Agroscope > ART - Reckenholz location
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Composting and fertilizer application > Fertilizer application
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Nutrient management
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Soil fertility
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Soil quality
Switzerland > University of Basel
Switzerland > Zürich University
Related Links:https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/1404, https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/2114
Deposited By: Bodenhausen, Dr Natacha
ID Code:51572
Deposited On:29 Aug 2023 08:15
Last Modified:29 Aug 2023 08:15
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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