P>1. We studied vascular plant and soil-dwelling testate amoeba communities in deglaciated sites across a range of substrate ages in Kenai Fjords, Alaska, USA to test four hypotheses. (i) Patterns of community assembly are similar for vascular plants and testate amoebae. (ii) Vascular plant and testate amoeba communities are more strongly correlated to abiotic variables than to each other, since these communities are not directly linked trophically. (iii) Plant community structure becomes less associated with abiotic condition in succession relative to testate amoebae, as species replacement is believed to be more common for plants than testate amoebae. (iv) Above- and below-ground communities become more strongly linked over the succession, due a shift from predominantly allogenic to autogenic forces.