|Title||Range-expansion effects on the belowground plant microbiome|
|Author(s)||Ramirez, Kelly S.; Snoek, L.B.; Koorem, Kadri; Geisen, Stefan; Bloem, L.J.; Hooven, Freddy ten; Kostenko, Olga; Krigas, Nikos; Manrubia, Marta; Caković, Danka; Raaij, Debbie van; Tsiafouli, Maria A.; Vreš, Branko; Čelik, Tatjana; Weser, Carolin; Wilschut, Rutger A.; Putten, Wim H. van der|
|Source||Nature Ecology & Evolution 3 (2019)4. - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 604 - 611.|
|Department(s)||Laboratory of Nematology|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
Plant range expansion is occurring at a rapid pace, largely in response to human-induced climate warming. Although the movement of plants along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients is well-documented, effects on belowground microbial communities remain largely unknown. Furthermore, for range expansion, not all plant species are equal: in a new range, the relatedness between range-expanding plant species and native flora can influence plant–microorganism interactions. Here we use a latitudinal gradient spanning 3,000 km across Europe to examine bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizosphere and surrounding soils of range-expanding plant species. We selected range-expanding plants with and without congeneric native species in the new range and, as a control, the congeneric native species, totalling 382 plant individuals collected across Europe. In general, the status of a plant as a range-expanding plant was a weak predictor of the composition of bacterial and fungal communities. However, microbial communities of range-expanding plant species became more similar to each other further from their original range. Range-expanding plants that were unrelated to the native community also experienced a decrease in the ratio of plant pathogens to symbionts, giving weak support to the enemy release hypothesis. Even at a continental scale, the effects of plant range expansion on the belowground microbiome are detectable, although changes to specific taxa remain difficult to decipher.