Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Original research article
12 Jan 2023
Original research article |  | 12 Jan 2023

Soil depth as a driver of microbial and carbon dynamics in a planted forest (Pinus radiata) pumice soil

Alexa K. Byers, Loretta G. Garrett, Charlotte Armstrong, Fiona Dean, and Steve A. Wakelin

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Cited articles

Abarenkov, K., Zirk, A., Piirmann, T., Pöhönen, R., Ivanov, F., Nilsson, R. H., and Kõljalg, U.: UNITE general FASTA release for Fungi, UNITE Community [data set],, 2021. 
Arbizu, P. M.: pairwiseAdonis: Pairwise Multilevel Comparison using Adonis, GitHub repository [code],, 2017. 
Bai, R., Wang, J.-T., Deng, Y., He, J.-Z., Feng, K., and Zhang, L.-M.: Microbial Community and Functional Structure Significantly Varied among Distinct Types of Paddy Soils But Responded Differently along Gradients of Soil Depth Layers, Front Microbiol., 8, 945,, 2017. 
Balesdent, J., Basile-Doelsch, I., Chadoeuf, J., Cornu, S., Derrien, D., Fekiacova, Z., and Hatté, C.: Atmosphere–soil carbon transfer as a function of soil depth, Nature, 559, 599–602,, 2018. 
Barberán, A., Ramirez, K. S., Leff, J. W., Bradford, M. A., Wall, D. H., and Fierer, N.: Why are some microbes more ubiquitous than others? Predicting the habitat breadth of soil bacteria, Ecol. Lett., 17, 794–802,, 2014. 
Short summary
Forest soils store large amounts of carbon (C), but research has remained focused on C storage in topsoil layers. We investigated changes in forest soil C storage and microbial ecology to 1 m depth. Though absolute soil C content, microbial diversity and microbial biomass declined sharply with depth, 35 % of total soil C was cumulatively stored in subsoil layers. Our findings highlight the importance of including subsoils when calculating the C storage capacity of forest systems.