Responses of soil microbiota and nematodes to application of organic and inorganic fertilizers in grassland columns
ABSTRACT: Enhancing the role of the soil microbiota in plant phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S) supply through application of organic fertilizer
could reduce dependencies on non-sustainable synthetic fertilizers. To compare the effects of organic/inorganic fertilizers on the
soil microbiota, soil columns with Lolium perenne (ryegrass) were set up in a greenhouse and amended with an inorganic
fertilizer, cattle slurry (organic), or urea (P- and S-free control). Ryegrass rhizosphere of the slurry treatment had significantly
higher abundances of bacterial feeding nematodes, mycorrhizal colonization, cultivable heterotrophic bacteria, phosphonate- and
sulfonate-utilizing bacteria, arylsulfatase activity, available P, and Variovorax asfA gene copies compared to the inorganic and
urea treatments. Phosphomonoesterase activities, and gene abundances involved in organic P and S transformations (phoD,
phoC, Burkholderia, and Polaromonas asfA) were similar in all treatments. Grass dry matter yield and shoot uptake ofN, P, and S
were significantly higher in the inorganic treatment compared to the urea and slurry treatments. Community compositions
differed significantly between the three fertilizer treatments and included the bacterial, alkaline phosphomonoesteraseproducing
bacterial, fungal, AM fungal, and nematode communities. Bacteriodetes were found in higher relative abundance
in the organic treatment, while Acidobacteria were more abundant in the urea and inorganic fertilizer treatments. These community
shifts correlated significantly with grass dry matter yield, uptake of N, P, and S, mycorrhizal colonization, enzyme
activities, abundances of bacteria, and bacterial feeding nematodes. We concluded that organic fertilization promoted soil
microbes and nematodes which have the potential to support sustainable plant growth, provided that the overall nutrient
requirements are met.
Project description:Long-term effects of inorganic and organic fertilization on nitrification activity (NA) and the abundances and community structures of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) were investigated in an acidic Ultisol. Seven treatments applied annually for 27 years comprised no fertilization (control), inorganic NPK fertilizer (N), inorganic NPK fertilizer plus lime (CaCO3) (NL), inorganic NPK fertilizer plus peanut straw (NPS), inorganic NPK fertilizer plus rice straw (NRS), inorganic NPK fertilizer plus radish (NR), and inorganic NPK fertilizer plus pig manure (NPM). In nonfertilized soil, the abundance of AOA was 1 order of magnitude higher than that of AOB. Fertilization reduced the abundance of AOA but increased that of AOB, especially in the NL treatment. The AOA communities in the control and the N treatments were dominated by the Nitrososphaera and B1 clades but shifted to clade A in the NL and NPM treatments. Nitrosospira cluster 8a was found to be the most dominant AOB in all treatments. NA was primarily regulated by soil properties, especially soil pH, and the interaction with AOB abundance explained up to 73% of the variance in NA. When NL soils with neutral pH were excluded from the analysis, AOB abundance, especially the relative abundance of Nitrosospira cluster 8a, was positively associated with NA. In contrast, there was no association between AOA abundance and NA. Overall, our data suggest that Nitrosospira cluster 8a of AOB played an important role in the nitrification process in acidic soil following long-term inorganic and organic fertilization.IMPORTANCE The nitrification process is an important step in the nitrogen (N) cycle, affecting N availability and N losses to the wider environment. Ammonia oxidation, which is the first and rate-limiting step of nitrification, was widely accepted to be mainly regulated by AOA in acidic soils. However, in this study, nitrification activity was correlated with the abundance of AOB rather than that of AOA in acidic Ultisols. Nitrosospira cluster 8a, a phylotype of AOB which preferred warm temperatures, and low soil pH played a predominant role in the nitrification process in the test Ultisols. Our results also showed that long-term application of lime or pig manure rather than plant residues altered the community structure of AOA and AOB. Taken together, our findings contribute new knowledge to the understanding of the nitrification process and ammonia oxidizers in subtropical acidic Ultisol under long-term inorganic and organic fertilization.
Project description:Biofertilizer plays a significant role in crop cultivation that had reduced its inorganic fertilizer use. The effects of inorganic fertilizer reduction combined with Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer on the growth, quality, soil nutrients and diversity of the soil bacterial community in the rhizosphere soil of pakchoi were studied. The experiment composed of 6 treatments, including CK (no fertilization), DL (10% inorganic fertilizer reduction combined with Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer), ZL (25% inorganic fertilizer reduction combined with Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer), SL (50% inorganic fertilizer reduction combined with Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer), FHF (100% inorganic fertilizer) and JZ (100% inorganic fertilizer combined with sterilized Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer). Compared with conventional fertilization, the 25% reduction in chemical fertilizer applied with the Pennisetum giganteum mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer resulted in higher plant height, plant weight, chlorophyll content, soluble protein content, soluble sugar content, vitamin C content, alkali hydrolyzed nitrogen content, available phosphorus content, available potassium content and organic matter content in pakchoi, and these variables increased by 11.81%, 8.54%, 7.37%, 16.88%, 17.05%, 23.70%, 24.24%, 36.56%, 21.09% and 19.72%, respectively. In addition, the 25% reduction in chemical fertilizer applied with the Pennisetum giganteum mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer also had the lowest nitrate content, which was 53.86% lower than that with conventional fertilization. Different fertilizer treatments had a significant effect on the soil bacterial community structure. Compared with conventional fertilization, the coapplication of Pennisetum giganteum z.x.lin mixed nitrogen-fixing biofertilizer and inorganic fertilizer significantly increased the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria in the soil. The results of the redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that soil organic matter, alkali-hydrolyzed nitrogen, available phosphorus, available potassium, pH and water content had a specific impact on the soil bacterial community. Among the factors, soil water content was the main factor affecting the soil bacterial community, followed by soil organic matter, soil pH, available potassium, soil available phosphorus and soil alkali-hydrolyzed nitrogen.
Project description:Effects of different fertilizers on organic carbon (C) storage and turnover of soil fractions remains unclear. We combined soil fractionation with isotope analyses to examine soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics after 25 years of fertilization. Five types of soil samples including the initial level (CK) and four fertilization treatments (inorganic nitrogen fertilizer, N; balanced inorganic fertilizer, NPK; inorganic fertilizer plus farmyard manure, MNPK; inorganic fertilizer plus corn straw residue, SNPK) were separated into four aggregate sizes (>2000 μm, 2000-250 μm, 250-53 μm, and <53 μm), and three density fractions: free light fraction (LF), intra-aggregate particulate organic matter (iPOM), and mineral-associated organic matter (mSOM). Physical fractionation showed the iPOM fraction of aggregates dominated C storage, averaging 76.87% of SOC storage. Overall, application of N and NPK fertilizers cannot significantly increase the SOC storage but enhanced C in mSOM of aggregates, whereas MNPK fertilizer resulted in the greatest amount of SOC storage (about 5221.5 g C m(2)) because of the enhanced SOC in LF, iPOM and mSOM of each aggregate. The SNPK fertilizer increased SOC storage in >250 μm aggregates but reduced SOC storage in <250 μm aggregates due to SOC changes in LF and iPOM.
Project description:A porous iron-based oxalate-phosphate-amine metal-organic framework material (OPA-MOF) was investigated as a microbially-induced slow-release nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer. Seedling growth, grain yields, nutrient uptake of wheat plants, and soil dynamics in incubated soil, were investigated using OPA-MOF vs standard P (triple-superphosphate) and N (urea) fertilizers in an acidic Ferralsol at two application rates (equivalent 120 and 40 kg N ha(-1)). While urea hydrolysis in the OPA-MOF treatment was rapid, conversion of ammonium to nitrate was significantly inhibited compared to urea treatment. Reduced wheat growth in OPA-MOF treatments was not caused by N-deficiency, but by limited P-bioavailability. Two likely reasons were slow P-mobilisation from the OPA-MOF or rapid P-binding in the acid soil. P-uptake and yield in OPA-MOF treatments were significantly higher than in nil-P controls, but significantly lower than in conventionally-fertilised plants. OPA-MOF showed potential as enhanced efficiency N fertilizer. However, as P-bioavailability was insufficient to meet plant demands, further work should determine if P-availability may be enhanced in alkaline soils, or whether central ions other than Fe, forming the inorganic metal-P framework in the MOF, may act as a more effective P-source in acid soils.
Project description:A field experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of organic amendments on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, bulk density, aggregate stability, field capacity and plant available water in a representative Chinese Mollisol. Four treatments were as follows: no fertilization (CK), application of inorganic fertilizer (NPK), combined application of inorganic fertilizer with maize straw (NPK+S) and addition of biochar with inorganic fertilizer (NPK+B). Our results showed that after three consecutive years of application, the values of soil bulk density were significantly lower in both organic amendment-treated plots than in unamended (CK and NPK) plots. Compared with NPK, NPK+B more effectively increased the contents of soil organic carbon, improved the relative proportion of soil macro-aggregates and mean weight diameter, and enhanced field capacity as well as plant available water. Organic amendments had no obvious effect on soil C/N ratio or wilting coefficient. The results of linear regression indicated that the improvement in soil water retention could be attributed to the increases in soil organic carbon and aggregate stability.
Project description:Application of inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer and manure can increase nitrous oxide (N<sub>2</sub>O) emissions. We tested the hypothesis that increased N<sub>2</sub>O flux from soils amended with manure reflects a change in bacterial community structure and, specifically, an increase in the number of denitrifiers. To test this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted in a drip-irrigated cotton field in an arid region of northwestern China. Treatments included plots that were not amended (Control), and plots amended with urea (Urea), animal manure (Manure) and a 50/50 mix of urea and manure (U+M). Manure was broadcast-incorporated into the soil before seeding while urea was split-applied with drip irrigation (fertigation) over the growing season. The addition treatments did not, as assessed by nextgen sequencing of PCR-amplicons generated from rRNA genes in soil, affect the alpha diversity of bacterial communities but did change the beta diversity. Compared to the Control, the addition of manure (U+M and Manure) significantly increased the abundance of genes associated with nitrate reduction (<i>narG</i>) and denitrfication (<i>nirK</i> and <i>nosZ</i>). Manure addition (U+M and Manure) did not affect the nitrifying enzyme activity (NEA) of soil but resulted in 39-59 times greater denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA). In contrast, urea application had no impact on the abundances of nitrifier and denitrifier genes, DEA and NEA; likely due to a limitation of C availability. DEA was highly correlated (<i>r</i> = 0.70-0.84, <i>P</i> < 0.01) with the abundance of genes <i>narG</i>, <i>nirK</i> and <i>nosZ</i>. An increase in the abundance of these functional genes was further correlated with soil NO<sub>3</sub> <sup>-</sup>, dissolved organic carbon, total C, and total N concentrations, and soil C:N ratio. These results demonstrated a positive relationship between the abundances of denitrifying functional genes (<i>narG</i>, <i>nirK</i> and <i>nosZ</i>) and denitrification potential, suggesting that manure application increased N<sub>2</sub>O emission by increasing denitrification and the population of bacteria that mediated that process.
Project description:In this study, we investigated the physicochemical properties of soil, and the diversity and structure of the soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) community, when subjected to fertilizer treatments for over 35 years. We collected soil samples from a black soil fertilization trial in northeast China. Four treatments were tested: no fertilization (CK); manure (M); nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) chemical fertilizer (NPK); and N, P, and K plus M (MNPK). We employed 454 high-throughput pyrosequencing to measure the response of the soil AOA community to the long-term fertilization. The fertilization treatments had different impacts on the shifts in the soil properties and AOA community. The utilization of manure alleviated soil acidification and enhanced the soybean yield. The soil AOA abundance was increased greatly by inorganic and organic fertilizers. In addition, the community Chao1 and ACE were highest in the MNPK treatment. In terms of the AOA community composition, Thaumarchaeota and Crenarchaeota were the main AOA phyla in all samples. Compared with CK and M, the abundances of Thaumarchaeota were remarkably lower in the MNPK and NPK treatments. There were distinct shifts in the compositions of the AOA operational taxonomic units (OTUs) under different fertilization management practices. OTU51 was the dominant OTU in all treatments, except for NPK. OTU79 and OTU11 were relatively abundant OTUs in NPK. Only Nitrososphaera AOA were tracked from the black soil. Redundancy analysis indicated that the soil pH and soil available P were the two main factors that affected the AOA community structure. The abundances of AOA were positively correlated with the total N and available P concentrations, and negatively correlated with the soil pH.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:This paper was primarily devoted to understand the interactions of soil aggregates, organic carbon (C) and carbon cycle enzymes in aggregates under different fertilization managements, aiming to identify the effects of organic and inorganic fertilizer amendments on soil organic C accumulation and the activities of carbon cycle enzymes within aggregates in Vertisol. METHODS:A Vertisol soil following 4-year compost and inorganic fertilizer amendments, i.e. no fertilizer (CK), mineral fertilizer (FR) and 60% compost N plus 40% fertilizer N (FRM), was collected to identify the dynamics of organic C, enzymes activities and their associations with macroaggregation using aggregate fractionation techniques. RESULTS:The organic C content in all FR and FRM treatments was 8.24-41.15% higher than that in CK. An increased amounts of carbon cycle enzymes in aggregates or 0-20 cm bulk soil were also observed in FRM plots. Compared to FR, FRM significantly strengthened the structural stability of macroaggregates and the intimate connection between enzyme activities and macroaggregates. CONCLUSIONS:As a recommended measure, supplementation with organic manure such as compost strengthened the process of mutual promotion between carbon cycle enzymes and macroaggregates, and the synergistic effect would be highly beneficial to soil organic C sequestration.
Project description:The bacterial community and diversity in mulberry field soils with different application ages of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (4Y, 4-year-old; 17Y, 17-year-old; 32Y, 32-year- old) were investigated using next-generation sequencing. The results demonstrated that the application ages of nitrogen fertilizer significantly altered soil bacterial community and diversity. Soil bacterial Shannon diversity index and Chao 1 index decreased with the consecutive application of nitrogen fertilizer, and the 4Y soil exhibited the highest bacterial relative abundance and diversity. Of 45 bacterial genera (relative abundance ratio of genera greater than 0.3%), 18 were significantly affected by the plant age, and seven belong to Acidobacteria. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria Gp 1, Gp4 and Gp6 in the 4Y soil were significantly lower than that of in the 17Y and 32Y soils. However, the relative abundance of Pseudononas sp. in the 4Y soil was significantly higher than that of in the 17Y and 32Y soils. Most microbial parameters were significantly affected by soil pH and organic matter content which were significantly changed by long-term application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer.
Project description:The sustainable use of grasslands in intensive farming systems aims to optimize nitrogen (N) inputs to increase crop yields and decrease harmful losses to the environment at the same time. To achieve this, simple optical sensors may provide a non-destructive, time- and cost-effective tool for estimating plant biomass in the field, considering spatial and temporal variability. However, the plant growth and related N uptake is affected by the available N in the soil, and therefore, N mineralization and N losses. These soil N dynamics and N losses are affected by the N input and environmental conditions, and cannot easily be determined non-destructively. Therefore, the question arises: whether a relationship can be depicted between N fertilizer levels, plant biomass and N dynamics as indicated by nitrous oxide (N₂O) losses and inorganic N levels. We conducted a standardized greenhouse experiment to explore the potential of spectral measurements for analyzing yield response, N mineralization and N₂O emissions in a permanent grassland. Ryegrass was subjected to four mineral fertilizer input levels over 100 days (four harvests) under controlled environmental conditions. The soil temperature and moisture content were automatically monitored, and the emission rates of N₂O and carbon dioxide (CO₂) were detected frequently. Spectral measurements of the swards were performed directly before harvesting. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and simple ratio (SR) were moderately correlated with an increasing biomass as affected by fertilization level. Furthermore, we found a non-linear response of increasing N₂O emissions to elevated fertilizer levels. Moreover, inorganic N and extractable organic N levels at the end of the experiment tended to increase with the increasing N fertilizer addition. However, microbial biomass C and CO₂ efflux showed no significant differences among fertilizer treatments, reflecting no substantial changes in the soil biological pool size and the extent of the C mineralization. Neither the NDVI nor SR, nor the plant biomass, were related to cumulative N₂O emissions or inorganic N at harvesting. Our results verify the usefulness of optical sensors for biomass detection, and show the difficulty in linking spectral measurements of plant traits to N processes in the soil, despite that the latter affects the former.