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The biogeography of soil fungal and bacterial biomass is tied to the efficiency of decomposition at global scale
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  • Kai-liang Yu,
  • Johan van den Hoogen,
  • zhiqiang wang,
  • Colin Averill,
  • Devin Routh,
  • Gabriel Smith,
  • Rebecca Drenovsky,
  • Kate Scow,
  • Fei Mo,
  • Mark Waldrop,
  • Yuanhe Yang,
  • Francisca de Vries,
  • Richard Bardgett,
  • Peter Manning,
  • Felipe Bastida,
  • Sara Baer,
  • Elizabeth Bach,
  • Carlos García,
  • Qingkui Wang,
  • Linna Ma,
  • Baodong Chen,
  • Jiansheng Ye,
  • Sven Teurlincx,
  • Amber Heijboer,
  • James Bradley,
  • Thomas Crowther
Kai-liang Yu
ETH Zürich
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Johan van den Hoogen
ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
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zhiqiang wang
The Institute for Advanced Study
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Colin Averill
ETH Zürich
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Devin Routh
ETH Zurich
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Gabriel Smith
Stanford University
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Rebecca Drenovsky
John Carroll University
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Kate Scow
U C Davis
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Fei Mo
Northwest A&F University
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Mark Waldrop
United States Geological Survey
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Yuanhe Yang
Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Francisca de Vries
University of Amsterdam
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Richard Bardgett
The University of Manchester
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Peter Manning
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
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Felipe Bastida
CEBAS-CSIC
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Sara Baer
Southern Illinois University
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Elizabeth Bach
University of Kansas
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Carlos García
CEBAS-CSIC
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Qingkui Wang
Institute of Applied Ecology Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Linna Ma
Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Baodong Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Jiansheng Ye
Lanzhou University
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Sven Teurlincx
Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
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Amber Heijboer
Wageningen University & Research
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James Bradley
Queen Mary University of London
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Thomas Crowther
ETH Zurich
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Abstract

Variation in relative abundance of bacteria and fungi within the soil microbiome could drive striking differences in carbon uptake and release across different biomes. However, a lack of global information on the relative abundance of these organisms in terrestrial ecosystems has prevented the inclusion of soil bacterial and fungal biomass and associate processes into global biogeochemical models. Here, we use >3000 distinct observations of soil fungal and bacterial abundance to explore the environmental drivers of variation in fungal: bacterial dominance and to generate the first quantitative and spatially explicit model of soil fungal proportion, defined as fungi/(fungi + bacteria), across terrestrial ecosystems. We reveal striking latitudinal trends: fungal dominance increases in cold and high latitude environments with large soil carbon stocks. The global pattern in soil fungal proportion is strongly linked to the carbon use efficiency (CUE) of soil carbon decomposition, with higher CUE in bacterial dominated soils.