Journal of Rubber Research

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 168–181 | Cite as

Functional Diversity of Soil Microbial Communities in Different-age Rubber Plantations — A Case Study of Hainan Province, China

  • Y. J. ZhouEmail author
  • C. Y. Wang
  • J. H. Li
  • C. R. Friedman
  • H. F. WangEmail author


In order to understand the microbial community of the soil ecosystems in rubber plantations, we investigated the functional diversity of soil microbial communities in young, mature and old rubber plantations in Hainan province, China. It was found that long-term cultivation of rubber trees altered the functional diversity of the soil microbial community. Microbial biomass and activity of the soil microbial community as well as its capacity for carbon utilisation and function diversity were shown to decline with an increase of the rubber plantation’s age. The functional diversity of the soil microbial communities was similar in young and mature rubber plantations, but different from old rubber plantations. Total nitrogen, soil organic carbon, soil moisture, soil total porosity and capillary porosity were the key factors that influenced the functional diversity of the soil microbial communities in rubber plantations.


Rubber plantations microbial community Biolog-Eco functional diversity soil properties 


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Copyright information

© The Malaysian Rubber Board 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources, Institute of Tropical Agriculture and ForestryHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.Hainan State Farms Academy of ScienceHaikouChina
  3. 3.Agricultural Science Research Institute of Hainan State FarmsHaikouChina
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesThompson Rivers UniversityKamloopsCanada

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