In this study we compared the precision of habitat indication by the vegetation and soil microbial communities in four salt affected pastures in the Hungarian Great Plain. Dissimilarity of habitats was evaluated by standardized principal component analysis (PCA) based on four different data sets: catabolic profiles of microbial communities in June (a) and September (b), composition of vascular vegetation (c), and physical and chemical properties of the soil (d). Procrustes analysis was used to quantify the resemblance between pairs of PCA ordinations based on soil properties (d) and various biotic communities (a, b, c). PCA ordination based on vegetation matched most closely the soil data based ordination. For microbial communities, a better agreement with the soil data based ordination was reached in September than in June. Most probably, the long-lived sessile habit of perennial plants in these communities require adaptation to long-term average habitat conditions. In contrast, short-lived soil microbes can quickly follow environmental changes, thus the composition of soil microbial communities better reflect actual soil conditions.
The publication is available in the Agronomy (IF=3.417; Q1) open-access journal:
Csontos P., Mucsi M., Ragályi P., Tamás J., Kalapos T., Pápay G., Mjazovszky Á., Penksza K., Szili-Kovács T.
Standing vegetation exceeds soil microbial communities in soil type indication: a Procrustes test of four salt-affected pastures. Agronomy 2021, 11, 1652.