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10.11.2020 | Original Contribution

Urban Aerobiomes are Influenced by Season, Vegetation, and Individual Site Characteristics

Zeitschrift:
EcoHealth
Autoren:
Gwynne Á. Mhuireach, Hannah Wilson, Bart R. Johnson
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10393-020-01493-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Exposure to biodiverse environments such as forests can benefit human well-being, and evidence suggests exposure to high microbial diversity may improve mental and immune health. However, the factors that drive microbial community assembly are poorly understood, as is the relationship between exposure to these communities and human health. We characterized airborne bacterial communities in two disparate types of urban greenspace (forest and grass) in late-spring 2017 at sites previously sampled in late-summer 2015 in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon, using high-throughput metabarcode sequencing. While all sites shared a core aerobiome in late-spring consisting of plant- and soil-associated genera, forests had significantly higher diversity than grass sites (F = 12, P = 0.004). Vegetation type explained 14% of the difference between forest and grass aerobiomes, yet individual site location explained 41% of the variation. These results were similar to but amplified over those from late summer, suggesting that both aerobiome diversity and vegetation-driven effects are higher when deciduous foliage is fresher and more active, temperatures cooler, and humidity higher. Continued exploration and hypothesis-driven research will enable development of mechanistic theory describing key drivers of urban aerobiome assembly and its relationship to human health, which, in turn, will help urban designers and planners create evidence-based salutogenic cities for future generations.

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