Recently identified microbial guild mediates soil N2O sink capacity

CM Jones, A Spor, FP Brennan, M-C Breuil, D Bru, P Lemanceau, BS Griffiths, S Hallin, L Philippot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

358 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the predominant ozone-depleting substance and contributes approximately 6% to overall global warming1,2. Terrestrial ecosystems account for nearly 70% of total global N2O atmospheric loading, of which at least 45% can be attributed to microbial cycling of nitrogen in agriculture3. The reduction of N2O to nitrogen gas by microorganisms is critical for mitigating its emissions from terrestrial ecosystems, yet the determinants of a soil’s capacity to act as a source or sink for N2O remain uncertain4. Here, we demonstrate that the soilN2Osink capacity is mostly explained by the abundance and phylogenetic diversity of a newly described N2O-reducing microbial group5,6, which mediate the influence of edaphic factors. Analyses of interactions and niche preference similarities suggest niche di erentiation or even competitive interactions between organisms with the twotypes of N2O reductase.We further identified several recurring communities comprised of co-occurring N2O-reducing bacterial genotypes that were significant indicators of the soil N2O sink capacity across di erent European soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801 - 805
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Early online date13 Jul 2014
Publication statusPrint publication - Sept 2014

Bibliographical note



  • Climate change
  • Microbial guild
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Sink capacity
  • Soil


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