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Strong links between plant traits and microbial activities but different abiotic drivers in mountain grasslands

Citation

Weil, Sarah-Sophie et al. (2022), Strong links between plant traits and microbial activities but different abiotic drivers in mountain grasslands, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cjsxksn63

Abstract

This dataset contains data and code that support the results in Weil, S.-S., Martinez-Almoyna, C., Piton, G., Renaud, J., Boulangeat, L., Foulquier, A., ... & Thuiller, W. (2021) Strong links between plant traits and microbial activities but different abiotic drivers in mountain grasslands. Journal of Biogeography, 48(11), 2755-2770.

We used an extensive plant-soil dataset that covers 14 elevational gradients (between 1500 and 2800 m of elevation) distributed over the whole French Alps to analyse the spatial co-dependencies between the plant and soil compartments. We ran a Graphical Lasso that extracts the direct and indirect linkages between plant functional composition, soil microbial activities, and environmental conditions (local climate and soil properties).

Our main results are 1) that plant traits are tightly associated with microbial activities, the former being driven by climate and the latter by soil properties; 2) that the dominance of specific plant traits was more important than their diversity to determine plant-soil linkages; and 3) that soil microbes invested strongly in nutrient acquisition in sites with conservative plant traits and reduced organic matter quality.

Methods

Most of the data was collected in the field on plots of the ORCHAMP observation network in the French Alps. Community-weighted means on functional plant traits were calculated based on species-level data of traits that were measured in multiple populations across the whole French Alps between 2008 and 2018. Values of the integrated normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were based on the surface spectral reflectance at a resolution of 250 m derived from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) bands 1 and 2; MOD09Q1: MODIS/Terra Surface Reflectance 8-Day L3 Global 250 m SIN Grid V006 satellite MODIS (Terra), available online: https://lpdaac.usgs.gov/products/mod09q1v006/. Climatic variables were calculated using data from the SAFRAN-Crocus (S2M) reanalyses. Please refer to the manuscript for more information on data collection, protocols and calculations.

Usage Notes

This dataset contains data for 41 plots across the ORCHAMP observation network and an R script that can be used to run Graphical Lasso on the data. The ReadMe file contains information about the origin of the data and explanations of the variables as well as their units.

Funding

LTSER Zone Atelier Alpes

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR‐16‐CE02‐0009

Jardin du Lautaret, Award: UAR 3370

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR‐10‐LAB‐56

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR‐15‐IDEX‐02