Changes in soil bacterial communities in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in east China following 4 years of nitrogen addition
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Evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystems are common in east China, where they are both ecologically and economically important. However, nitrogen (N) addition over many years has had a detrimental effect on these ecosystems. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of 4 years of N addition on microbial communities in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in southern Anhui, China.
Materials and methods
Allochthonous N in the form of aqueous NH4NO3 and phosphorus (P) in the form of Ca(H2PO4)2·H2O were applied at three doses with a control (CK, stream water only without fertilizer): low-N (50 kg N ha−1 year−1), high-N (100 kg N ha−1 year−1) and high-N+P (100 kg N ha−1 year−1 + 50 kg P ha−1 year−1). Quantitative PCR analysis of microbial community size and Illumina platform-based sequencing analysis of the V3-V4 16S rRNA gene region were performed to characterize soil bacterial community abundance, structure, and diversity.
Results and discussion
Bacterial diversity was increased in low-N and high-N treatments and decreased in the high-N+P treatment, but α-diversity indices were not significantly affected by N additions. Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria were the predominant phyla in all treatments, and the relative abundance of different genera varied among treatments. Only soil pH (P = 0.051) showed a weak correlation with the bacterial community in CK and low-N treatment.
The composition of the bacterial community and the abundance of different phyla were significantly altered by N addition. The results of the present study indicate that soil bacterial communities in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest are, to a certain extent, resilient to changes derived from N additions.
Keywords16S rRNA Bacterial community Evergreen broad-leaved forest Microbial diversity Nitrogen addition
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC, No. 31370626) and the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2010CB950602). We gratefully acknowledge field assistance from C. Zhang, X. Yu, D. Tian, L. Ke, Z. F. Wang, and W. Fan. In the laboratory, we gratefully acknowledge C. Shi and Y. L. Wang for assistance with molecular biology experiments.
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