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Reduced microbial diversity induces larger volatile organic compound emissions from soils
Letizia Abis, Benjamin Loubet, Raluca Ciuraru, Florence Lafouge, Sabine Houot, Virginie Nowak, Julie Tripied, Samuel Dequiedt, Pierre Alain Maron & Sophie Sadet-Bourgeteau
Microorganisms in soil are known to be a source and a sink of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The role of the microbial VOCs on soil ecosystem regulation has been increasingly demonstrated in the recent years. Nevertheless, little is known about the influence of the microbial soil community structure and diversity on VOC emissions. This novel study analyzed the effect of reduced microbial diversity in soil on VOC emissions. We found that reduced levels of microbial diversity in soil increased VOC emissions from soils, while the number of different VOCs emitted decreased. Furthermore, we found that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and fungi phyla were positively correlated to VOC emissions, and other prokaryotic phyla were either negatively correlated or very slightly positively correlated to VOCs emissions. Our interpretation is that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and fungi were VOC producers while the other prokaryotic phyla were consumers. Finally, we discussed the possible role of VOCs as mediators of microbial interactions in soil.