Chinese researchers have investigated the grasslands in northern China and found that plant diversity had a stronger linkage with soil fungal diversity than with bacterial diversity.
The interactions between plants and soil microbes play crucial roles in modulating the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems.
The researchers from the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted a two-year survey across semi-arid grasslands and the correlation between plant and bacterial diversity varied by phyla and functional guilds, resulting in decoupling between plant and soil bacterial diversity.
The diversity of both plant and fungus is driven by soil nutrients and texture, while bacterial diversity is mainly influenced by the pH value of soil, according to the research article published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.
The findings suggested that integrating soil fungi into plant diversity conservation is helpful to biodiversity restoration in degraded grassland ecosystems.