contact persons: Gaia Francini, Hui Nan, Heikki Setälä
Soil provides a considerable amount of ecosystem services, which are largely sustained and performed by soil microbiota. The study of soil microbiota has mainly focused on non-urban ecosystems. It is now well recognised that different plant functional types can shape diverse soil microbial communities and that these communities evolve over time. Urban soils represent a peculiar ecosystem: high levels of disturbance, such as use, pollution, the raking of organic material (leaves) are specific feature in urban green spaces, while at the same time trees can freely grow an extensive and undisturbed root system. Thus, we aim to shed light on the composition of urban microbiota, how this is related with plant functional type, which temporal dynamics it follows and on the differences, or similarities, between urban and non-urban ecosystems. This should serve as a starting point to understand urban soil ecosystem structure and functioning better. Similarly, we aim to understand how soil nutrient dynamics work in the urban ecosystem, considering that these could be impaired or modified by the high level of disturbance compared to non-urban ecosystems.
- Hui, N., Liu, X., Kotze, D. J., Jumpponen, A., Francini, G. & Setälä, H. 2017. Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in urban parks are similar to those in natural forests but shaped by vegetation and park age. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83, e01797-17.
- Francini, G., Jumpponen, A., Kotze, D. J., Hui, N., Romantschuk, M., Allen J. A. & Setälä, H. (in press). Soil biota in urban parks in the boreal forest zone: responses to plant type and park age. Soil Biology and Biochemistry