14. Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Microbial Function in Soil

The Effect of Elevated CO2 Concentration

  1. Thomas J. Sauer2,
  2. John M. Norman3 and
  3. Mannava V. K. Sivakumar4
  1. Paolo Nannipieri

Published Online: 7 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch14

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics

How to Cite

Nannipieri, P. (2011) Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Microbial Function in Soil, in Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics (eds T. J. Sauer, J. M. Norman and M. V. K. Sivakumar), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

  3. 4

    Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Firenze, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470958575

Online ISBN: 9780470960257

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Keywords:

  • microbial diversity;
  • microbial biomass;
  • soil respiration;
  • rhizodeposition;
  • mycorrhizae;
  • soil C storage;
  • enzyme activity;
  • atmospheric CO2

Summary

The impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on microbial functions in soil is mainly indirect since the increase in atmospheric CO2 stimulates photosynthetic activity of C3 plants, rhizodeposition and consequent activity and growth of rhizosphere microorganisms, because most of soil microorganisms are generally C-limited. Other indirect effects caused by greater below-ground C allocations concern the enhancement of soil structure and increased uptake of nutrients and water by plants. Contrasting results on activity, composition and size of soil microbial communities and on the interaction between microorganisms and plants and fauna depend on the different plant-soil systems studied and the different techniques used. Mycorrhizal infection of plant roots under elevated CO2 concentration is generally stimulated due to increased C allocation to roots but future research should address the central role of mycorrhizae in the context of global change, as they appear to be a keystone in the CO2 -related response.