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Climate warming and summer droughts alter soil microbial activity, affecting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in arctic and alpine regions. However, the long-term effects of warming, and implications for future microbial resilience, are poorly understood. Using one alpine and three arctic soils subjected to in situ long-term experimental warming, we simulated drought in laboratory incubations to test how microbial functional-gene abundance affects fluxes in three GHGs: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. We found that responses of functional gene abundances to drought and warming are strongly associated with vegetation type and soil carbon. Our sites ranged from a wet, forb dominated, soil carbon-rich systems to a drier, soil carbon-poor alpine site. Resilience of functional gene abundances, and in turn methane and carbon dioxide fluxes, was lower in the wetter, carbon-rich systems. However, we did not detect an effect of drought or warming on nitrous oxide fluxes. All gene-GHG relationships were modified by vegetation type, with stronger effects being observed in wetter, forb-rich soils. These results suggest that impacts of warming and drought on GHG emissions are linked to a complex set of microbial gene abundances and may be habitat-specific.
Original languageEnglish
Article number fiad145
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number12
Early online date10 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2023


  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology
  • Microbiology
  • carbon dioxide
  • greenhouse gases
  • functional genes
  • microbial community
  • methane
  • ITEX
  • resilience
  • resistance
  • Carbon Dioxide/analysis
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Methane/analysis
  • Nitrous Oxide/analysis
  • Droughts
  • Soil
  • Genes, Microbial


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