Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 95–106 | Cite as

Alterations in soil fungal community composition and network assemblage structure by different long-term fertilization regimes are correlated to the soil ionome

  • Chao Xue
  • C. Ryan Penton
  • Chen Zhu
  • Huan Chen
  • Yinghua Duan
  • Chang Peng
  • Shiwei Guo
  • Ning Ling
  • Qirong Shen
Original Paper


Agricultural soils with (M+) or without (M−) organic amendment were collected from four long-term field experiments to investigate soil fungal community composition and its relationship to the soil ionome by employing both the sequencing of fungal internal transcription spacer (ITS) fragments and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Fungal community composition was primarily impacted by physical location while organic amendment triggered community shifts in the same direction in all four sites. Overall, the fungal community was strongly correlated to soil pH that, conversely, impacted soil ion availability. Fungal community dissimilarity was strongly correlated to soil ionome (ionic profile) variability. Network analysis has been conducted to explore the biotic interactions in soil ecosystem, in which species (nodes) are connected by pairwise interactions (links). The results revealed that organic amendment led to a higher number of correlated nodes to soil ions, links, modules (a group of nodes more densely connected to each other than to nodes outside the group), and positive links within and between modules. Moreover, specific fungal modules were independently correlated with soil ions, suggesting that each module represents a functional guild or collection of similar fungal ecotypes. Module size (number of nodes in a module) exhibited no apparent influence on the scale of these correlations. The increase in cooperative/synergistic interactions with organic amendment suggests that application results in a better-organized and more efficient community with enhanced potential soil fungal interactions mediated by alterations in the soil ionome. Overall, this study indicates that these less commonly measured soil ions play an important role and may be used to reveal previously undetermined drivers of the soil microbial community.


Chemical fertilizer Organic amendment Soil ionome Soil fungal community Co-occurrence network 



We are grateful for the many graduate students and staff that were involved in the field plot maintenance and the collection of soil samples that are not listed as co-authors.

Funding information

This work was financially supported by the China Science and Technology Ministry (2015CB150500), Jiangsu Science and Technology Department (BK20150059), and National Key Research and Development Plan (2016YFD0200106).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao Xue
    • 1
  • C. Ryan Penton
    • 2
  • Chen Zhu
    • 1
  • Huan Chen
    • 3
  • Yinghua Duan
    • 4
  • Chang Peng
    • 5
  • Shiwei Guo
    • 1
  • Ning Ling
    • 1
  • Qirong Shen
    • 1
  1. 1.Jiangsu Provincial Key Lab for Solid Organic Waste Utilization, National Engineering Research Center for Organic-based Fertilizers, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Solid Organic Waste Resource UtilizationNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, Center for Fundamental and Applied MicrobiomicsArizona State UniversityMesaUSA
  3. 3.Crop Research InstituteAnhui Academy of Agricultural ScienceHefeiChina
  4. 4.Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional PlanningChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Agriculture Environment and Resources CenterJilin Academy of Agricultural SciencesChangchunChina

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