Muyshondt, B., Wuyts, K., Mensel, A.V., Smets, W., Lebeer, S., Aleixo, C., Ortí, M.A., Casanelles-Abella, J., Chiron, F., Giacomo, P., Laanisto, L., Moretti, M., Niinemets, Ü., Pinho, P., Tryjanowski, P., Woszczyło, P. & Samson, R. (2022) Phyllosphere bacterial communities in urban green areas throughout Europe relate to urban intensity.Microbial Ecology, 98(10), . DOI:10.1093/femsec/fiac106 (IF2021 4,192; Q1 Ecology)
The phyllosphere harbours a diverse and specific bacterial community, which influences plant health and ecosystem functioning. In this study, we investigated the impact of urban green areas connectivity and size on the composition and diversity of phyllosphere bacterial communities. Hereto, we evaluated the diversity and composition of phyllosphere bacterial communities of 233 Platanus x acerifolia and Acer pseudoplatanus trees in 77 urban green areas throughout 6 European cities. The community composition and diversity significantly differed between cities but only to a limited extent between tree species. We could show that urban intensity correlated significantly with the community composition of phyllosphere bacteria. In particular, a significant correlation was found between the relative abundances for 29 out of the 50 most abundant families and the urban intensity: the abundances of classic phyllosphere families, such as Acetobacteraceae, Planctomycetes, and Beijerinkiaceae, decreased with urban intensity (i.e. more abundant in areas with more green, lower air pollution, and lower temperature), while those related to human activities, such as Enterobacteriaceae and Bacillaceae, increased with urban intensity. The results of this study suggest that phyllosphere bacterial communities in European cities are associated with urban intensity and that effect is mediated by several combined stress factors.