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The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology, June 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (81st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
12 tweeters
1 Facebook page


50 Dimensions

Readers on

150 Mendeley
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The interacting roles of climate, soils, and plant production on soil microbial communities at a continental scale
Published in
Ecology, June 2017
DOI 10.1002/ecy.1883
Pubmed ID

M. P. Waldrop, J. M. Holloway, D. B. Smith, M. B. Goldhaber, R. E. Drenovsky, K. M. Scow, R. Dick, D. Howard, B. Wylie, J. B. Grace


Soil microbial communities control critical ecosystem processes such as decomposition, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter formation. Continental scale patterns in the composition and functioning of microbial communities are related to climatic, biotic, and edaphic factors such as temperature and precipitation, plant community composition, and soil carbon, nitrogen, and pH. Although these relationships have been well explored individually, the examination of the factors that may act directly on microbial communities versus those that may act indirectly through other ecosystem properties has not been well developed. To further such understanding, we utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) to evaluate a set of hypotheses about the direct and indirect effects of climatic, biotic, and edaphic variables on microbial communities across the continental United States. The primary goals of this work were to test our current understanding of the interactions among climate, soils, and plants in affecting microbial community composition, and to examine whether variation in the composition of the microbial community affects potential rates of soil enzymatic activities. A model of interacting factors created through SEM that shows several expected patterns. Distal factors such as climate had indirect effects on microbial communities by influencing plant productivity, soil mineralogy, and soil pH, but factors related to soil organic matter chemistry had the most direct influence on community composition. We observed that both plant productivity and soil mineral composition were important indirect influences on community composition at the continental scale, both interacting to affect organic matter content and microbial biomass and ultimately community composition. Although soil hydrolytic enzymes were related to the moisture regime and soil carbon, oxidative enzymes were also affected by community composition, reflected in the abundance of soil fungi. These results highlight that soil microbial communities can be modeled within the context of multiple interacting ecosystem properties acting both directly and indirectly on their composition and function, and this provides a rich and informative context with which to examine communities. This work also highlights that variation in climate, microbial biomass, and microbial community composition can affect maximum rates of soil enzyme activities, potentially influencing rates of decomposition and nutrient mineralization in soils. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 12 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 150 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 1%
China 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 145 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 37 25%
Researcher 34 23%
Student > Master 20 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 9 6%
Student > Bachelor 9 6%
Other 17 11%
Unknown 24 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 58 39%
Environmental Science 35 23%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 7 5%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 6 4%
Engineering 2 1%
Other 4 3%
Unknown 38 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 July 2017.
All research outputs
of 21,629,653 outputs
Outputs from Ecology
of 6,345 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 283,640 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology
of 93 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,629,653 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 6,345 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.2. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 283,640 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 93 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.