Project description:Antibiotics are entrained in agricultural soil through the application of manures from medicated animals. In the present study, a series of small field plots was established in 1999 that receive annual spring applications of a mixture of tylosin, sulfamethazine, and chlortetracycline at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 mg · kg-1 soil. These antibiotics are commonly used in commercial swine production. The field plots were cropped continuously for soybeans, and in 2012, after 14 annual antibiotic applications, the nodules from soybean roots were sampled and the occupying bradyrhizobia were characterized. Nodules and isolates were serotyped, and isolates were distinguished using 16S rRNA gene and 16S to 23S rRNA gene intergenic spacer region sequencing, multilocus sequence typing, and RS? fingerprinting. Treatment with the antibiotic mixture skewed the population of bradyrhizobia dominating the nodule occupancy, with a significantly larger proportion of Bradyrhizobium liaoningense organisms even at the lowest dose of 0.1 mg · kg-1 soil. Likewise, all doses of antibiotics altered the distribution of RS? fingerprint types. Bradyrhizobia were phenotypically evaluated for their sensitivity to the antibiotics, and there was no association between in situ treatment and a decreased sensitivity to the drugs. Overall, long-term exposure to the antibiotic mixture altered the composition of bradyrhizobial populations occupying nitrogen-fixing nodules, apparently through an indirect effect not associated with the sensitivity to the drugs. Further work evaluating agronomic impacts is warranted.IMPORTANCE Antibiotics are entrained in agricultural soil through the application of animal or human waste or by irrigation with reused wastewater. Soybeans obtain nitrogen through symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Here, we evaluated the impact of 14 annual exposures to antibiotics commonly used in swine production on the distribution of bradyrhizobia occupying nitrogen-fixing nodules on soybean roots in a long-term field experiment. By means of various sequencing and genomic fingerprinting techniques, the repeated exposure to a mixture of tylosin, sulfamethazine, and chlortetracycline each at a nominal soil concentration of 0.1 mg · kg-1 soil was found to modify the diversity and identity of bradyrhizobia occupying the nodules. Nodule occupancy was not associated with the level of sensitivity to the antibiotics, indicating that the observed effects were not due to the direct toxicity of the antibiotics on bradyrhizobia. Altogether, these results indicate the potential for long-term impacts of antibiotics on this agronomically important symbiosis.
Project description:Antibiotics can be detected in manure and digestate samples worldwide. As manure is a frequently used fertilizer, antibiotics are found in soil and leachate samples. Only little is known about the long-term fate of antibiotics in the soil environment. One shortcut is the lack of appropriate monitoring studies. Here we present the results of an unequalled soil monitoring study over 18 years from an agricultural field site in Lower Saxony (Germany). Sulfonamides and tetracycline are mainly fixed in the upper soil layer. Contents showed a sharp decrease below sampling depth of 30 cm (plough depth). Sulfaguanidine and sulfamethazine (SMZ) were detected down to 90 cm. Water samples taken below the field site revealed the transfer of sulfonamides into leachate. High variances were observed between sampling points emphasizing the need for sampling strategies for environmental studies. In addition, field lysimeters with defined input of sulfonamides enabled a long-term monitoring and mass balance of antibiotic transfer into leachate over 10 years. SMZ showed the highest mobility with concentrations up to 65 ng L-1. Less than 0.5% of the applied SMZ was transferred into the leachate. Data of lysimeter and field water samples support the theory of a steady state process with a continuous input of sulfonamides such as SMZ into leachate. Soils contaminated with antibiotics can be a long-term source for the input of antibiotic active compounds into deeper soil layers and groundwater.
Project description:Soil solution chemistry is influenced by atmospheric deposition of air pollutants, exchange processes with the soil matrix and soil-rhizosphere-plant interactions. In this study we present the results of the long-term Intercantonal Forest Observation Program in Switzerland with soil solution measurements since 1998 on a current total of 47 plots. The forest sites comprise two major forest types of Switzerland including a wide range of ecological gradients such as different nitrogen (N) deposition and soil conditions. The long-term data set of 20 years of soil solution measurements revealed an ongoing, but site-specific soil acidification. In strongly acidified soils (soil pH below 4.2), acidification indicators changed only slowly over the measured period, possibly due to high buffering capacity of the aluminum buffer (pH 4.2-3.8). In contrast, in less acidified sites we observed an increasing acidification rate over time, reflected, for example, by the continuous decrease in the ratio of base cations to aluminum (BC/Al ratio). Nowadays, the main driver of soil acidification is the high rate of N deposition, causing cation losses and hampering sustainable nutrient balances for tree nutrition. Mean nitrate leaching rates for the years 2005-2017 were 9.4 kg N ha-1 yr-1, ranging from 0.04 to 53 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Three plots with high N input had a remarkable low nitrate leaching. Both N deposition and nitrate leaching have decreased since 2000. However, the latter trend may be partly explained due to increased drought in recent years. Nonetheless, those high N depositions are still affecting the majority of the forest sites. Taken together, this study gives evidence of anthropogenic soil acidification in Swiss forest stands. The underlying long-term measurements of soil solution provides important information on nutrient leaching losses and the impact climate change effects such as droughts. Furthermore, this study improves the understanding of forest management and tree mortality regarding varying nitrate leaching rates.
Project description:Glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) contributes to the formation and maintenance of soil aggregates, it is however remains unclear whether long-term intensive manure amendments alter soil aggregates stability and whether GRSP regulates these changes. Based on a three-decade long fertilization experiment in northeast China, this study examined the impact of long-term manure input on soil organic carbon (SOC), total and easily extractable GRSP (GRSPt and GRSPe) and their respective allocations in four soil aggregates (>2000 μm; 2000-250 μm; 250-53 μm; and <53 μm). The treatments include no fertilization (CK), low and high manure amendment (M1, M2), chemical nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (NPK), and combined manure and chemical fertilizers (NPKM1, NPKM2). Though SOC, GRSPe and GRSPt in soil and SOC in each aggregate generally increased with increasing manure input, GRSPt and GRSPe in each aggregate showed varying changes with manure input. Both GRSP in macroaggregates (2000-250 μm) were significantly higher under low manure input, a pattern consistent with changes in soil aggregate stability. Constituting 38~49% of soil mass, macroaggregates likely contributed to the nonlinear changes of aggregate stability under manure amendments. The regulatory process of GRSP allocations in soil aggregates has important implications for manure management under intensive agriculture.
Project description:Soil sickness is the progressive loss of soil quality due to continuous monocropping. The bacterial populations are critical to sustaining agroecosystems, but their responses to long-term peanut monocropping have not been determined. In this study, based on a previously constructed gradient of continuous monocropped plots, we tracked the detailed feedback responses of soil bacteria to short- and long-term continuous monocropping of four different peanut varieties using high-throughput sequencing techniques. The analyses showed that soil samples from 1- and 2-year monocropped plots were grouped into one class, and samples from the 11- and 12-year plots were grouped into another. Long-term consecutive monocropping could lead to a general loss in bacterial diversity and remarkable changes in bacterial abundance and composition. At the genera level, the dominant genus Bacillus changed in average abundance from 1.49% in short-term monocropping libraries to 2.96% in the long-term libraries. The dominant species Bacillus aryabhattai and Bacillus funiculus and the relatively abundant species Bacillus luciferensis and Bacillus decolorationis all showed increased abundance with long-term monocropping. Additionally, several other taxa at the genus and species level also presented increased abundance with long-term peanut monocropping; however, several taxa showed decreased abundance. Comparing analyses of predicted bacterial community functions showed significant changes at different KEGG pathway levels with long-term peanut monocropping. Combined with our previous study, this study indicated that bacterial communities were obviously influenced by the monocropping period, but less influenced by peanut variety and growth stage. Some bacterial taxa with increased abundance have functions of promoting plant growth or degrading potential soil allelochemicals, and should be closely related with soil remediation and may have potential application to relieve peanut soil sickness. A decrease in diversity and abundance of bacterial communities, especially beneficial communities, and simplification of bacterial community function with long-term peanut monocropping could be the main cause of peanut soil sickness.
Project description:Flooding frequency is predicted to increase during the next decades, calling for a better understanding of impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and for developing strategies to mitigate potential damage. Plant diversity is expected to buffer flooding effects by providing a broad range of species' responses. Here we report on the response of soil processes to a severe summer flood in 2013, which affected major parts of central Europe. We compared soil microbial respiration, biomass, nutrient limitation and enzyme activity in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany before flooding, one week and three months after the flood. Microbial biomass was reduced in the severely flooded plots at high, but not at low plant functional group richness. Flooding alleviated microbial nitrogen limitation, presumably due the input of nutrient-rich sediments. Further, the activity of soil enzymes including 1,4-?-N-acetylglucosaminidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase increased with flooding severity, suggesting increased chitin and lignin degradation as a consequence of the input of detritus in sediments. Flooding effects were enhanced at higher plant diversity, indicating that plant diversity temporarily reduces stability of soil processes during flooding. The long-term impacts, however, remain unknown and deserve further investigation.
Project description:To study long-term elevated CO2 and enriched N deposition interactive effects on microbial community and soil ecoprocess, here we investigated soil microbial community in a grassland ecosystem subjected to ambient CO2 (aCO2, 368 ppm), elevated CO2 (eCO2, 560 ppm), ambient nitrogen deposition (aN) or elevated nitrogen deposition (eN) treatments for a decade. There exist antagonistic CO2×N interactions on microbial functional genes associated with C, N, P S cycling processes. More strong antagonistic CO2×N interactions are observed on C degradation genes than other genes. Remarkably antagonistic CO2×N interactions on soil microbial communities could enhance soil C accumulation. Overall design: Samples were collected under four different carbon dioxide and nitrogen treatment (aCaN,eCaN,aCeN and eCeN) in each of the four plant species richness levels:1, 4, 9, 16 ; In plots with 1 plant species, each treatment has 32 replicates ; In plots with 4 and 9 plant speices, each treatment has 15 replicates ; In plots with 16 plant species, each treatment has 12 replicates.
Project description:The proliferation of ski run construction is a worldwide trend. The machine-grading of slopes involved during ski run construction changes the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil, having significant long-term ecological impact on the environment. Establishing and developing plant communities in these affected areas is crucial in rehabilitating the biotic and abiotic soil environment, while also improving slope stability and reducing the risk of natural hazards. This study evaluates changes in plant-soil properties and the long-term effects of machine-grading and subsequent restoration of ski runs so as to contribute to formulating the best practices in future ski run constructions. Study plots were established in 2000 and re-surveyed in 2017 on ski runs, which had been machine-graded and hydroseeded in the 1990s. Vegetation, root trait and soil surveys were carried out on ski run plots and compared to paired, undisturbed control sites off the ski runs. Plant cover remained unchanged on the ski-runs over time but plant richness and diversity considerably increased, reaching similar levels to undisturbed vegetation. Plant composition moved towards more semi-natural stages, showing a reduction in seeded plants with a comparable increase in the cover of colonizing native species. Root trait results were site-specific showing great variations between the mid and long-term after-effects of machine-grading and revegetation when compared to undisturbed sites. Under long-term management, the soil pH was still higher and the organic C content still lower in the ski runs than in the undisturbed sites, as the aggregate stability. The standard actions applied (machine-grading, storage and re-use of topsoil, hydroseeding of commercial seed mixtures, application of manure soon after seeding and low-intensity grazing) allowed the ecosystem to partially recover in three decades, and even if the soil has still a lower chemical and physical fertility than the undisturbed sites, the plant species composition reveals a satisfactory degree of renaturalization.
Project description:The effects of intensive nitrogen (N) fertilizations on spatial distributions of soil microbes in bioenergy croplands remain unknown. To quantify N fertilization effect on spatial heterogeneity of soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and N (MBN), we sampled top mineral horizon soils (0-15?cm) using a spatially explicit design within two 15-m2 plots under three fertilization treatments in two bioenergy croplands in a three-year long fertilization experiment in Middle Tennessee, USA. The three fertilization treatments were no N input (NN), low N input (LN: 84?kg?N ha-1 in urea) and high N input (HN: 168?kg?N ha-1 in urea). The two crops were switchgrass (SG: Panicum virgatum L.) and gamagrass (GG: Tripsacum dactyloides L.). Results showed that N fertilizations little altered central tendencies of microbial variables but relative to LN, HN significantly increased MBC and MBC:MBN (GG only). HN possessed the greatest within-plot variances except for MBN (GG only). Spatial patterns were generally evident under HN and LN plots and much less so under NN plots. Substantially contrasting spatial variations were also identified between croplands (GG?>?SG) and among variables (MBN, MBC:MBN?>?MBC). This study demonstrated that spatial heterogeneity is elevated in microbial biomass of fertilized soils likely by uneven fertilizer application in bioenergy crops.
Project description:This study aims to evaluate the impacts of changes in litter quantity under simulated N deposition on litter decomposition, CO2 release, and soil C loss potential in a larch plantation in Northeast China. We conducted a laboratory incubation experiment using soil and litter collected from control and N addition (100 kg ha-1 year-1 for 10 years) plots. Different quantities of litter (0, 1, 2 and 4 g) were placed on 150 g soils collected from the same plots and incubated in microcosms for 270 days. We found that increased litter input strongly stimulated litter decomposition rate and CO2 release in both control and N fertilization microcosms, though reduced soil microbial biomass C (MBC) and dissolved inorganic N (DIN) concentration. Carbon input (C loss from litter decomposition) and carbon output (the cumulative C loss due to respiration) elevated with increasing litter input in both control and N fertilization microcosms. However, soil C loss potentials (C output-C input) reduced by 62% in control microcosms and 111% in N fertilization microcosms when litter addition increased from 1 g to 4 g, respectively. Our results indicated that increased litter input had a potential to suppress soil organic C loss especially for N addition plots.