Which soil microbiome? Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa communities show different relationships with urban green space type and use-intensity
Grierson, JS and Flies, EJ and Bissett, A and Ammitzboll, H and Jones, Penelope, Which soil microbiome? Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa communities show different relationships with urban green space type and use-intensity, Science of the Total Environment, 863 Article 160468. ISSN 1879-1026 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Exposure to diverse microbial communities early in life can help support healthy human immune function. Soil microbiomes in public and private urban green spaces are potentially important sources of contact with diverse microbiomes for much of the global population. However, we lack understanding of how soil microbial communities vary across and within urban green spaces, and whether these patterns vary across microbial kingdoms; closing this knowledge gap may help us optimise green spaces' capacities to provide this ecosystem service. Here we explore the diversity and community compositions of soil microbiomes across urban green space types in Tasmania, Australia. Specifically, we analysed soil bacterial, fungal, and protozoan diversity and composition across private backyards and public parks. Within parks, we conducted separate sampling for areas of high and low intensity use. We found that: (i) bacteria, fungi, and protozoa showed different patterns of variation, (ii) bacterial alpha-diversity was lowest in low-intensity use areas of parks, (iii) there was relatively little variation in the community composition across backyards, and high and low intensity-use park areas and (iv) neither human-associated bacteria, nor potential microbial community function of bacteria and fungi differed significantly across green space types. To our knowledge, this is the first urban soil microbiome analysis which analyses these three soil microbial kingdoms simultaneously across public and private green space types and within public spaces according to intensity of use. These findings demonstrate how green space type and use intensity may impact on soil microbial diversity and composition, and thus may influence our opportunity to gain healthy exposure to diverse environmental microbiomes.