Soil microbial communities with greater investment in resource acquisition have lower growth yield

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ashish A MalikRobert I Griffiths


Resource acquisition and growth yield are fundamental traits of microorganisms that have consequences for ecosystem functioning. However, there is a lack of empirical observations linking these traits. Using a landscape-scale survey of temperate near-neutral pH soils, we show tradeoffs in key community-level parameters linked to these traits. Increased investment into extracellular enzymes was associated with reduced growth yield; this reduction was linked more to carbon than nitrogen acquisition enzymes highlighting smaller stoichiometric constraints on community metabolism in examined soils.

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