Invariant community structure of soil bacteria in subtropical coniferous and broadleaved forests.
ABSTRACT: Soil bacteria may be influenced by vegetation and play important roles in global carbon efflux and nutrient cycling under global changes. Coniferous and broadleaved forests are two phyletically distinct vegetation types. Soil microbial communities in these forests have been extensively investigated but few studies have presented comparable data regarding the characteristics of bacterial communities in subtropical forests. We investigated soil bacterial biomass and community composition in three pairs of coniferous and broadleaved forests across a subtropical climatic gradient. We found that bacterial biomass differed between the coniferous and broadleaved forests across the subtropical climate gradient; however, this difference disappeared at some individual sites. In contrast, the same 90 bacterial genera were found in both forest types, and their relative abundances didn't differ between the forest types, with the exception of one genus that was more abundant in broadleaved forests. Soil nitrogen or moisture was associated with bacterial groups in the coniferous and broadleaved forests, respectively. Thus, we inferred that these forests can respond differently to future changes in nitrogen deposition or precipitation. This study highlights soil bacterial invariant community composition in contrasting subtropical forests and provides a new perspective on the potential response and feedback of forests to global changes.
Project description:Reforestation with different tree species could alter soil properties and in turn affect the bacterial community. However, the effects of long-term reforestation on bacterial community structure and diversity of subtropical forest soils are poorly understood. In the current study, we applied error-corrected barcoded pyrosequencing to characterize the differences in the soil bacterial community in a low mountain, subtropical forest subjected to reforestation. The communities were sampled in the summer and winter from a native broadleaved forest (BROAD-Nat) and two adjacent coniferous plantations, a Calocedrus formosana forest of 80 years (CONIF-80) and a Cunninghamia konishii forest of 40 years (CONIF-40). The soil bacterial communities among three forest types were dominated by Acidobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. The distribution of abundant genera among communities was different. Based on the Shannon diversity index, the bacterial alpha diversity of CONIF-40 community was significantly higher than that in the CONIF-80 and BROAD-Nat soils. In both of the coniferous plantations, the soil bacterial diversity in summer was also higher than that in winter. Distribution of some abundant phylogenetic groups, K-shuff and redundancy analysis of beta diversity among communities showed that the bacterial structure of three soil communities differed between two seasons. These results suggest that seasonal differences influence the diversity and structure of bacterial soil communities and that the communities remain different even after a long period of reforestation.
Project description:Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important soil properties that determines water flow behavior in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the Ks of forest soils is difficult to predict due to multiple interactions, such as anthropological and geomorphic processes. In this study, we examined the impacts of vegetation type on Ks and associated mechanisms. We found that Ks differed with vegetation type and soil depth, and the impact of vegetation type on Ks was dependent on soil depth. Ks did not differ among vegetation types at soil depths of 0-10 and 20-30 cm, but was significantly lower in managed forest types (mixed evergreen broad-leaved and coniferous forests, bamboo forests, and tea gardens) than native evergreen broadleaf forests at a depth of 10-20 cm. Boosted regression tree analysis indicated that total porosity, non-capillary porosity, and macro water-stable aggregates were the primary factors that influenced Ks. Our results suggested that vegetation type was a key factor that influences hydraulic properties in subtropical forest soils through the alteration of soil properties, such as porosity and macro water-stable aggregates.
Project description:To explore the importance of soil microbial community composition on explaining the difference in heterotrophic soil respiration (R(h)) across forests, a field investigation was conducted on Rh and soil physiochemical and microbial properties in four subtropical forests in southern China. We observed that Rh differed significantly among forests, being 2.48 ± 0.23, 2.31 ± 0.21, 1.83 ± 0.08 and 1.56 ± 0.15 μmol m(-2) s(-1) in the climax evergreen broadleaf forest (BF), the mixed conifer and broadleaf forest (CF), the conifer plantation (CP), and the native broadleaved species plantation (BP), respectively. Both linear mixed effect model and variance decomposition analysis indicated that soil microbial community composition derived from phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) was not the first-order explanatory variable for the R(h) variance across the forests, with the explanatory power being 15.7%. Contrastingly, vegetational attributes such as root biomass (22.6%) and soil substrate availability (18.6%) were more important for explaining the observed R(h) variance. Our results therefore suggest that vegetation attributes and soil carbon pool size, rather than soil microbial community composition, should be preferentially considered to understand the spatial R(h) variance across the subtropical forests in southern China.
Project description:Plant litter is one of the main sources of soil humus, but which can also promote primary humus degradation by increasing microbial activity due to the higher availability of energy released, resulting in a confusing relationship between litterfall and soil humus. Therefore, an in situ incubation experiment was carried out in three subalpine forests (coniferous, mixed and broadleaved forests) on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We set up two treatments. One that allowed litterfall to enter the soil normally and the other prevented litterfall to enter the soil. Soils were sampled in October (the end of the growing season), January (the onset of the freezing season), March (the end of the freezing season), and May (the start of the growing season) from May 2017 to May 2018. By assessing the litterfall production, the content of total extracted humus, humic acid (HA) and fulvic acid (FA) in the topsoil (0-20 cm) in each incubation period, we determined the impact of litterfall on the content of humus extracted from the soil during the freezing and the growing season. Over 1-year incubation, soil total extracted humus and HA showed considerable decreases in the treatment of retained litterfall in the mixed forest but not in the coniferous or broadleaved forests. Moreover, litterfall significantly reduced the contents of soil total extracted humus and HA during the growing season in all three forests, while only reduced soil HA content in the broadleaved forest in the freezing season. The relationship between litterfall and soil extracted humic substances was greatly regulated by the seasonal dynamics of litter types and litter production in all forest types. The larger the amount of litterfall was, the more litterfall could promote the reduction of soil extracted humic substances. Compared with a single type of broadleaf or needle litter, mixed litterfall could promote a higher degradation of soil humic substances. However, broadleaf litter might lead to much greater decreases in soil humic substance than needle litter because it is more decomposable. These results indicate that the effect of litterfall on soil humic substances are mainly regulated by litter types and litter production. Moreover, the effects of litterfall on soil humic substances are more significant during the growing season than winter. This suggests that the longer growing season and a shorter winter caused by ongoing global warming may alter the relationships between litterfall and extracted humic substances, further disrupting the carbon balance of forest ecosystems in the subalpine forests.
Project description:Global warming has shifted climate zones poleward or upward. However, understanding the responses and mechanism of microbial community structure and functions relevant to natural climate zone succession is challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we examined soil microbial community in three broadleaved forests located in the Wulu Mountain (WLM, temperate climate), Funiu Mountain (FNM, at the border of temperate and subtropical climate zones), or Shennongjia Mountain (SNJ, subtropical climate). Although plant species richness decreased with latitudes, the microbial taxonomic ?-diversity increased with latitudes, concomitant with increases in soil total and available nitrogen and phosphorus contents. Phylogenetic NRI (Net Relatedness Index) values increased from -0.718 in temperate zone (WLM) to 1.042 in subtropical zone (SNJ), showing a shift from over dispersion to clustering likely caused by environmental filtering such as low pH and nutrients. Similarly, taxonomy-based association networks of subtropical forest samples were larger and tighter, suggesting clustering. In contrast, functional ?-diversity was similar among three forests, but functional gene networks of the FNM forest significantly (P < 0.050) differed from the others. A significant correlation (R = 0.616, P < 0.001) between taxonomic and functional ?-diversity was observed only in the FNM forest, suggesting low functional redundancy at the border of climate zones. Using a strategy of space-for-time substitution, we predict that poleward climate range shift will lead to decreased microbial taxonomic ?-diversities in broadleaved forest.
Project description:Little is known about the relationship between soil microbial communities and soil properties in southern boreal forests. To further our knowledge about that relationship, we compared the soil samples in southern boreal forests of the Greater Khingan Mountains—the southernmost boreal forest biome in the world. The forests can be divided into boardleaf forests dominated by birch (Betula platyphylla) or aspen (Populus davidiana) and coniferous forests dominated by larch (Larix gmelinii) or pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica). Results suggested different soil microbial communities and soil properties between these southern boreal forests. Soil protease activity strongly associated with soil fungal communities in broadleaf and coniferous forests (p?<?0.05), but not with soil bacterial communities (p?>?0.05). Soil ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus contents strongly associated with soil fungal and bacterial communities in broadleaf forests (p?<?0.05), but not in coniferous forests (p?>?0.05). Soil potassium content demonstrated strong correlations with both soil fungal and bacterial communities in broadleaf and coniferous forests (p?<?0.05). These results provide evidence for different soil communities and soil properties in southern boreal forest, and further elucidate the explicit correlation between soil microbial communities and soil properties in southern boreal forests.
Project description:It will help understand the representation legality of soil temperature to explore the correlations of soil respiration with variant properties of soil temperature. Soil temperature at 10 cm depth was hourly logged through twelve months. Basing on the measured soil temperature, soil respiration at different temporal scales were calculated using empirical functions for temperate forests. On monthly scale, soil respiration significantly correlated with maximum, minimum, mean and accumulated effective soil temperatures. Annual soil respiration varied from 409 g C m(-2) in coniferous forest to 570 g C m(-2) in mixed forest and to 692 g C m(-2) in broadleaved forest, and was markedly explained by mean soil temperatures of the warmest day, July and summer, separately. These three soil temperatures reflected the maximum values on diurnal, monthly and annual scales. In accordance with their higher temperatures, summer soil respiration accounted for 51% of annual soil respiration across forest types, and broadleaved forest also had higher soil organic carbon content (SOC) and soil microbial biomass carbon content (SMBC), but a lower contribution of SMBC to SOC. This added proof to the findings that maximum soil temperature may accelerate the transformation of SOC to CO2-C via stimulating activities of soil microorganisms.
Project description:Increasing fire risk and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition have the potential to alter plant community structure and composition, with consequent impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. This study was conducted to examine short-term responses of understory plant community to burning and N addition in a coniferous-broadleaved mixed forest of the subtropical-temperate transition zone in Central China. The experiment used a pair-nested design, with four treatments (control, burning, N addition, and burning plus N addition) and five replicates. Species richness, cover, and density of woody and herbaceous plants were monitored for 3 years after a low-severity fire in the spring of 2014. Burning, but not N addition, significantly stimulated the cover (+15.2%, absolute change) and density (+62.8%) of woody species as well as herb richness (+1.2 species/m2, absolute change), cover (+25.5%, absolute change), and density (+602.4%) across the seven sampling dates from June 2014 to October 2016. Light availability, soil temperature, and prefire community composition could be primarily responsible for the understory community recovery after the low-severity fire. The observations suggest that light availability and soil temperature are more important than nutrients in structuring understory plant community in the mixed forest of the subtropical-temperate transition zone in Central China. Legacy woody and herb species dominated the understory vegetation over the 3 years after fire, indicating strong resistance and resilience of forest understory plant community and biodiversity to abrupt environmental perturbation.
Project description:Soil microbes are active players in energy flow and material exchange of the forest ecosystems, but the research on the relationship between the microbial diversity and the vegetation types is less conducted, especially in the subtropical area of China. In this present study, the rhizosphere soils of evergreen broad-leaf forest (EBF), coniferous forest (CF), subalpine dwarf forest (SDF) and alpine meadow (AM) were chosen as test sites. Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) analysis was used to detect the composition and diversity of soil bacterial communities under different vegetation types in the National Natural Reserve of Wuyi Mountains. Our results revealed distinct differences in soil microbial composition under different vegetation types. Total 73 microbes were identified in soil samples of the four vegetation types, and 56, 49, 46 and 36 clones were obtained from the soils of EBF, CF, SDF and AM, respectively, and subsequently sequenced. The Actinobacteria, Fusobacterium, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were the most predominant in all soil samples. The order of Shannon-Wiener index (H) of all soil samples was in the order of EBF>CF>SDF>AM, whereas bacterial species richness as estimated by four restriction enzymes indicated no significant difference. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the soil bacterial communities' structures of EBF, CF, SDF and AM were clearly separated along the first and second principal components, which explained 62.17% and 31.58% of the total variance, respectively. The soil physical-chemical properties such as total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and total potassium (TK) were positively correlated with the diversity of bacterial communities.
Project description:Global warming has shifted climate zones poleward or upward. However, understanding the responses and mechanism of microbial community structure and functions relevant to natural climate zone succession is challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we examined soil microbial community in three broadleaved forests located in the Wulu Mountain (WLM, temperate climate), Funiu Mountain (FNM, at the border of temperate and subtropical climate zones), or Shennongjia Mountain (SNJ, subtropical climate).Soils were characterized for geochemistry, Illumina sequencing was used to determine microbial taxonomic communities and GeoChips 5.0 were used to determine microbial functional genes. Overall design: Thirty samples were collected from three mountains in temperate and subtropical zones, with 10 replicates in every site