DNA metabarcoding reveals the impact of Cu2+ on soil cercozoan diversity

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Although copper (Cu2+) is a micronutrient, the metal may be toxic if present in high concentrations in soil ecosystems and subsequently affect various organisms, ranging from microorganisms to earthworms. We performed a microcosm study with an array of Cu2+ concentrations, with a specific focus on Cercozoa, an important protozoan group in most soil food webs. Research on Cercozoa is still scarce in terms of both diversity and ecology; hence, to explore this group in more depth, we used high-throughput sequencing to detect Cu2+ induced community changes. Increased levels of Cu2+ caused a shift in the cercozoan community, and we observed decreased cercozoan relative abundance across the majority of orders, families and genera. Due to their key role in soil food webs, especially as bacterial predators and providers of nutrients to plants, the reduction of cercozoan abundance and diversity may seriously affect soil functionality. Our results indicate that the increase of Cu2+ concentrations in the soil could potentially have this effect and the consequences need exploration.
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Special thanks to lab technician Gosha Sylvester. FE was funded by Danish Council for Independent Research ( 9040-00314B ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s)

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