Journal article

Termite mounds reduce soil microbial diversity by filtering rare microbial taxa.

Qing-Lin Chen, Hang-Wei Hu, Zhen-Zhen Yan, Chao-Yu Li, Bao-Anh Thi Nguyen, Yong Zheng, Yong-Guan Zhu, Ji-Zheng He

Environmental Microbiology | Wiley | Published : 2021


Termites are ubiquitous insects in tropical and subtropical habitats, and some of them construct massive nests ('mounds'), which substantially promote substrate heterogeneity by altering soil properties. Yet, the role of termite nesting process in regulating the distribution and diversity of soil microbial communities remains poorly understood, which introduces uncertainty in predictions of ecosystem functions of termite mounds in a changing environment. Here, by using amplicon sequencing, we conducted a survey of 134 termite mounds across >1500 km in northern Australia and found that termite mounds significantly differed from bulk soils in the microbial diversity and community compositions...

View full abstract


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by National Natural Science Foundation of China

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (DE210100271; DP210100332) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31901291).