The 2000 eruption of Mount Oyama on the island of Miyake (Miyake-jima) created a unique opportunity to study the early ecosystem development on newly exposed terrestrial substrates. In this study, bacterial and fungal communities on 9- and 11-year-old volcanic deposits at poorly to fully vegetation-recovered sites in Miyake-jima, Japan, were characterized by conventional culture-based methods and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA genes. Despite the differences in the vegetation cover, the upper volcanic deposit layer samples displayed low among-site variation for chemical properties (pH, total organic carbon, and total nitrogen) and microbial population densities (total direct count and culturable count). Statistical analyses of pyrosequencing data revealed that the microbial communities of volcanic deposit samples were phylogenetically diverse, in spite of very low-carbon environmental conditions, and their diversity was comparable to that in the lower soil layer (buried soil) samples. Comparing with the microbial communities in buried soil, the volcanic deposit communities were characterized by the presence of Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria as the main bacterial class, Deinococcus-Thermus as the minor bacterial phyla, and Ascomycota as the major fungal phyla. Multivariate analysis revealed that several bacterial families and fungal classes correlated positively or negatively with plant species.
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