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Zhao P, Bao J, Wang X, Liu Y, Li C, Chai B.2018. Multiple ecological processes jointly drive the soil microbial community assembly in subalpine coniferous forests. PeerJ Preprints6:e27223v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27223v1
The mechanisms underlying community dynamics, which govern the complicated biogeographical patterns of microbes, have long been a research hotspot in community ecology. However, the mixing of multiple ecological processes and the one-sidedness of analytical methods make it difficult to draw inferences about the community assembly mechanisms. In this study, we investigated the driving forces of the soil microbial community in subalpine coniferous forests of the Loess Plateau in Shanxi, China, by integrating multiple analytical methods. The results of the null model demonstrated that deterministic processes (especially interspecific relationships) were the main driving force of the soil microbial community assembly in this study area, relative to stochastic processes. Based on the results of the net relatedness index (NRI) and nearest taxon index (NTI), we inferred that historical and evolutionary factors, such as climate change and local diversification, may have similar effects on microbial community structure based on the climatic niche conservatism. Based on the results of a functional traits analysis, we found that the effects of ongoing ecological processes on the microbial community assembly varied among sites. Therefore, the functional structures seemed to be more related to ongoing ecological processes, whereas the phylogenetic structures seemed to be more related to historical and evolutionary factors, as well as the tradeoff between deterministic and stochastic processes. The functional and phylogenetic structures were mainly shaped by different ecological processes. By integrating multiple ecological processes, our results provide more details of the mechanisms driving the community assembly
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Table S1 The description information data of the soil samples from 23 plots