Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 230:44 | Cite as

Soil Microbial Metabolic Activity and Community Structure in Drip-Irrigated Calcareous Soil as Affected by Irrigation Water Salinity

  • Huijuan Guo
  • Zhiqiang Hu
  • Huimin Zhang
  • Zhenan HouEmail author
  • Wei MinEmail author


Saline water irrigation can dramatically change the soil environment and thereby influence soil microbial processes. The objective of this field experiment was to use Biolog and high-throughput sequencing methods to evaluate the metabolic activity and community structure of soil microorganisms after 9 years of saline water irrigation. The results showed that brackish and saline water irrigation significantly increased soil bulk density and salinity, but significantly decreased soil pH, TN, SOM, MBC, and metabolic activity. The Biolog tests of sole-carbon-source utilization indicated that the brackish and saline water treatments significantly reduced the utilization of four carbohydrate sources (D-cellobiose, β-methyl-d-glucoside, D-mannitol, and glucose-1-phosphate), two amino acid sources (L-asparagine and glycyl-L-glutamic acid), two carboxylic acid sources (D-galacturonic acid and D-malic acid), and two polymer sources (Tween 80 and glycogen). Brackish and saline water increased soil bacterial richness (ACE and Chao 1 indices) but had no effect on which bacterial phyla were present. Brackish and saline irrigation water significantly increased the relative abundance of four dominant bacterial phyla (Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi, Saccharibacteria). In contrast, the relative abundance of five dominant phyla (Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, Planctomycetes, and Verrucomicrobia) was reduced by brackish and saline irrigation water. Our study suggests that soil bacterial community will form significant differences species under different irrigation water salinity, which can adapt to saline stress by adjusting the species composition. The results of this study increase understanding about the potential effects of saline water irrigation on soil biological processes.


Water salinity Drip irrigation Microbial metabolic activity Soil bacteria Community structure 


Funding Information

This work was jointly funded by The National Natural Science Foundation of China [41661055] and the Youth Innovation Talent Cultivation Program of Shihezi University [CXRC201706]. The Youth Science and Technology Innovation Research Foundation of Xinjiang Production and Construction Crops, China [2016BC001].


  1. Ahmed, C. B., Magdich, S., Rouina, B. B., Boukhris, M., & Abdullah, F. B. (2012). Saline water irrigation effects on soil salinity distribution and some physiological responses of field grown Chemlali olive. Journal of Environmental Management, 113, 538–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison, S. D., & Martiny, J. B. (2008). Resistance, resilience, and redundancy in microbial communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(Supplement 1), 11512–11519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amini, S., Ghadiri, H., Chen, C., & Marschner, P. (2016). Salt-affected soils, reclamation, carbon dynamics, and biochar: a review. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 16(3), 939–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baumann, K., & Marschner, P. (2013). Effects of salinity on microbial tolerance to drying and rewetting. Biogeochemistry, 112(1–3), 71–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernhard, A. E., & Bollmann, A. (2010). Estuarine nitrifiers: new players, patterns and processes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 88(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Canfora, L., Bacci, G., Pinzari, F., Papa, G. L., Dazzi, C., & Benedetti, A. (2014). Salinity and bacterial diversity: to what extent does the concentration of salt affect the bacterial community in a saline soil? PLoS One, 9(9), e106662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caporaso, J. G., Kuczynski, J., Stombaugh, J., Bittinger, K., Bushman, F. D., Costello, E. K., Fierer, N., Peña, A. G., Goodrich, J. K., Gordon, J. I., Huttley, G. A., Kelley, S. T., Knights, D., Koenig, J. E., Ley, R. E., Lozupone, C. A., McDonald, D., Muegge, B. D., Pirrung, M., Reeder, J., Sevinsky, J. R., Turnbaugh, P. G., Walters, W. A., Widmann, J., Yatsunenko, T., Zaneveld, J., Knight, B., & Huttley, G. A. (2010). QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data. Nature Methods, 7(5), 335–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, W., Hou, Z., Wu, L., Liang, Y., & Wei, C. (2010). Evaluating salinity distribution in soil irrigated with saline water in arid regions of northwest China. Agricultural Water Management, 97(12), 2001–2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen, L., Li, C., Feng, Q., Wei, Y., Zheng, H., Zhao, Y., Feng, Y., & Li, H. (2017). Shifts in soil microbial metabolic activities and community structures along a salinity gradient of irrigation water in a typical arid region of China. Science of the Total Environment, 598, 64–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chowdhury, N., Yan, N., Islam, M. N., & Marschner, P. (2011). The extent of drying influences the flush of respiration after rewetting in non-saline and saline soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43(11), 2265–2272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Critter, S. A., Freitas, S. S., & Airoldi, C. (2004). Microcalorimetric measurements of the metabolic activity by bacteria and fungi in some Brazilian soils amended with different organic matter. Thermochimica Acta, 417(2), 275–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Egamberdieva, D., Renella, G., Wirth, S., & Islam, R. (2010). Secondary salinity effects on soil microbial biomass. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 46(5), 445–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Elgharably, A., & Marschner, P. (2011). Microbial activity and biomass and N and P availability in a saline sandy loam amended with inorganic N and lupin residues. European Journal of Soil Biology, 47(5), 310–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feikema, P. M., Morris, J. D., & Connell, L. D. (2010). The water balance and water sources of a Eucalyptus plantation over shallow saline groundwater. Plant and Soil, 332(1–2), 429–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garland, J. L., & Mills, A. L. (1991). Classification and characterization of heterotrophic microbial communities on the basis of patterns of community-level sole-carbon-source utilization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 57(8), 2351–2359.Google Scholar
  16. Hagemann, M. (2010). Molecular biology of cyanobacterial salt acclimation. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 35(1), 87–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Iwai, C. B., Oo, A. N., & Topark-ngarm, B. (2012). Soil property and microbial activity in natural salt affected soils in an alternating wet–dry tropical climate. Geoderma, 189, 144–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jenkinson, D. S., Brookes, P. C., & Powlson, D. S. (2004). Measuring soil microbial biomass. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 36(1), 5–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jin, Z. Z., Lei, J. Q., Li, S. Y., & Xu, X. W. (2014). Characteristics of sandy soil microbial metabolisms in the forests drip irrigation with saline water. Journal of Desert Research, 34, 363–370 (In Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  20. Kaye, J. P., McCulley, R. L., & Burke, I. C. (2005). Carbon fluxes, nitrogen cycling, and soil microbial communities in adjacent urban, native and agricultural ecosystems. Global Change Biology, 11(4), 575–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Letey, J., & Feng, G. L. (2007). Dynamic versus steady-state approaches to evaluate irrigation management of saline waters. Agricultural Water Management, 91(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li X, Jiao Y, & Yang, M. D. (2014) Diversity of soil microbial communities under different soil salinity levels analyzing by PLFA. In Advanced materials research. Vol. 955, pp. 314–320.Google Scholar
  23. Lin, X., Feng, Y., Zhang, H., Chen, R., Wang, J., Zhang, J., & Chu, H. (2012). Long-term balanced fertilization decreases arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in an arable soil in North China revealed by 454 pyrosequencing. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(11), 5764–5771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ma, B., & Gong, J. (2013). A meta-analysis of the publicly available bacterial and archaeal sequence diversity in saline soils. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 29(12), 2325–2334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mamilov, A., Dilly, O. M., Mamilov, S., & Inubushi, K. (2004). Microbial eco-physiology of degrading Aral Sea wetlands: consequences for C-cycling. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 50(6), 839–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mavi, M. S., & Marschner, P. (2013). Salinity affects the response of soil microbial activity and biomass to addition of carbon and nitrogen. Soil Research, 51(1), 68–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Min, W., Guo, H., Zhang, W., Zhou, G., Ma, L., Ye, J., Liang, Y., & Hou, Z. (2016). Response of soil microbial community and diversity to increasing water salinity and nitrogen fertilization rate in an arid soil. Acta Agric Scand Sect B Soil Plant Sci, 66(2), 117–126.Google Scholar
  28. Morrissey, E. M., Gillespie, J. L., Morina, J. C., & Franklin, R. B. (2014). Salinity affects microbial activity and soil organic matter content in tidal wetlands. Global Change Biology, 20(4), 1351–1362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rath, K. M., & Rousk, J. (2015). Salt effects on the soil microbial decomposer community and their role in organic carbon cycling: a review. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 81, 108–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rietz, D. N., & Haynes, R. J. (2003). Effects of irrigation-induced salinity and sodicity on soil microbial activity. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 35(6), 845–854.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ros, M., Goberna, M., Pascual, J. A., Klammer, S., & Insam, H. (2008). 16S rDNA analysis reveals low microbial diversity in community level physiological profile assays. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 72(3), 221–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Saviozzi, A., Cardelli, R., & Di Puccio, R. (2011). Impact of salinity on soil biological activities: a laboratory experiment. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 42(3), 358–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schlesner, H. (1994). The development of media suitable for the microorganisms morphologically resembling Planctomyces spp., Pirellula spp., and other Planctomycetales from various aquatic habitats using dilute media. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 17(1), 135–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schloss, P. D., Westcott, S. L., Ryabin, T., Hall, J. R., Hartmann, M., Hollister, E. B., Lesniewski, R. A., Oakley, B. B, Parks, D. H., Robinson, C. J., & Sahl, J. W. (2009). Introducing mothur: opensource, platform-independent, community-supported software for describing and comparing microbial communities. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(23), 7537–7541.Google Scholar
  35. Setia, R., Marschner, P., Baldock, J., & Chittleborough, D. (2010). Is CO2 evolution in saline soils affected by an osmotic effect and calcium carbonate? Biology and Fertility of Soils, 46(8), 781–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Setia, R., Marschner, P., Baldock, J., Chittleborough, D., & Verma, V. (2011). Relationships between carbon dioxide emission and soil properties in salt-affected landscapes. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43(3), 667–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shen, W., Lin, X., Gao, N., Zhang, H., Yin, R., Shi, W., & Duan, Z. (2008). Land use intensification affects soil microbial populations, functional diversity and related suppressiveness of cucumber fusarium wilt in China’s Yangtze River Delta. Plant and Soil, 306(1–2), 117–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Singh, K. (2016). Microbial and enzyme activities of saline and sodic soils. Land Degradation & Development, 27(3), 706–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Strickland, M. S., & Rousk, J. (2010). Considering fungal: bacterial dominance in soils–methods, controls, and ecosystem implications. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 42(9), 1385–1395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tripathi, S., Kumari, S., Chakraborty, A., Gupta, A., Chakrabarti, K., & Bandyapadhyay, B. K. (2006). Microbial biomass and its activities in salt-affected coastal soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 42(3), 273–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Valenzuela-Encinas, C., Neria-González, I., Alcántara-Hernández, R. J., Estrada-Alvarado, I., Dendooven, L., & Marsch, R. (2009). Changes in the bacterial populations of the highly alkaline saline soil of the former Lake Texcoco (Mexico) following flooding. Extremophiles, 13(4), 609–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vance, E. D., Brookes, P. C., & Jenkinson, D. S. (1987). An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 19(6), 703–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Verma, A. K., Gupta, S. K., & Isaac, R. K. (2012). Use of saline water for irrigation in monsoon climate and deep water table regions: simulation modeling with SWAP. Agricultural Water Management, 115, 186–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wang, R., Kang, Y., Wan, S., Hu, W., Liu, S., & Liu, S. (2011). Salt distribution and the growth of cotton under different drip irrigation regimes in a saline area. Agricultural Water Management, 100, 58–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wang, Z., Luo, G., Li, J., Chen, S. Y., Li, Y., Li, W. T., & Li, A. M. (2016). Response of performance and ammonia oxidizing bacteria community to high salinity stress in membrane bioreactor with elevated ammonia loading. Bioresource Technology, 216, 714–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wichern, J., Wichern, F., & Joergensen, R. G. (2006). Impact of salinity on soil microbial communities and the decomposition of maize in acidic soils. Geoderma, 137(1), 100–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wong, V. N., Greene, R. S. B., Dalal, R. C., & Murphy, B. W. (2010). Soil carbon dynamics in saline and sodic soils: a review. Soil Use and Management, 26(1), 2–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu, Q. L., Zwart, G., Schauer, M., Kamst-van Agterveld, M. P., & Hahn, M. W. (2006). Bacterioplankton community composition along a salinity gradient of sixteen high-mountain lakes located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72(8), 5478–5485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yan, N., & Marschner, P. (2012). Response of microbial activity and biomass to increasing salinity depends on the final salinity, not the original salinity. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 53, 50–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yuan, B. C., Li, Z. Z., Liu, H., Gao, M., & Zhang, Y. Y. (2007). Microbial biomass and activity in salt affected soils under arid conditions. Applied Soil Ecology, 35(2), 319–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zak, J. C., Willig, M. R., Moorhead, D. L., & Wildman, H. G. (1994). Functional diversity of microbial communities: a quantitative approach. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 26(9), 1101–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Resources and Environmental ScienceShihezi UniversityShiheziPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Agriculture CollegeShihezi UniversityShiheziChina

Personalised recommendations