Theory of microbial coexistence in promoting soil–plant ecosystem health

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhang, N., Nunan, N., Hirsch, P. R., Sun, B., Zhou, J. and Liang, Y. 2021. Theory of microbial coexistence in promoting soil–plant ecosystem health. Biology And Fertility Of Soils. 57, p. 897–911.

AuthorsZhang, N., Nunan, N., Hirsch, P. R., Sun, B., Zhou, J. and Liang, Y.

A healthy soil plant continuum is critical for maintaining agroecosystem functions and ensuring food security, which is the basis of sustainable agricultural development. Diverse soil microorganisms form a complex assembly and play an important role in agroecosystems by regulating nutrient cycling, promoting plant growth, and alleviating biotic and abiotic stresses. Improving microbial coexistence may be an efective and practical solution for the promotion of soil–plant ecosystem health in the face of the impacts of anthropogenic activities and global climate change. Modern coexistence theory is a useful theoretical framework for studying the coexistence of species that are competing for resources. Here, we briefy introduce the basic framework of modern coexistence theory, including the theoretical defnitions and mathematical calculations for niche diference and ftness diference, as well as ways to test for these diferences empirically. The possible efects of several
major biotic and abiotic factors, such as biological interactions, climate change, environmental stress, and fertilization, on microbial niche and ftness diferences are discussed. From the perspective of stabilizing and equalizing mechanisms, the potential roles of microbe–microbe interactions and plant–microbe interactions in promoting healthy soil–microbe–plant continuum are presented. We suggest that the use of the coexistence theory framework for the design and construction of microbial communities in agricultural production can provide a solid basis for the biological improvement of agroecosystems

KeywordsSoil health; Modern coexistence theory; Stabilizing and equalizing mechanisms; Niche and ftness diferences; Species interactions
Year of Publication2021
JournalBiology And Fertility Of Soils
Journal citation57, p. 897–911
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Jul 2021

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