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Variations of fungal communities within the soils of different tea varieties (Camellia sinensis L.) following long-term plantation



Soil microbial community diversities and compositions are sensitive indicators of soil quality, but little is known about the changes in community diversity and composition of fungi in soils after planting different tea varieties.


The differences in soil fungal community between the four tea varieties (Chuancha No.3 (CC3), Chuanmu No.217 (CM217), Chuannong Huangyazao (CN), and C. Sinensis ‘Fuding Dabaicha’ (FD)) were investigated by high-throughput sequencing.


Results showed significant differences in soil fungal β diversity, fungal community composition, and functional guilds in the soils planted with the four tea varieties, except α diversity. FD soil had the lowest number of phylum and class but the greatest relative abundance of Ascomycota; this occurred in conjunction with both a lower pH and soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorous (TP) concentrations, but with a greater bulk density. A lower relative abundance of pathotroph-saprotroph-symbiotroph was detected in both CM217 and CN soils. A higher relative abundance of both saprotroph and saprotroph-symbiotroph was detected in both CM217 and CN soils; these fungal trophic modes had significantly positive correlations with soil pH, TN, and TP concentrations. CM217 and CN soils indicated the highest potential for maintaining the diversity of fungal communities and enhancing soil organic C and N accumulation.


Soil properties play important roles in explaining the differences in soil fungal community composition and functional guild within a tea plantation system. Over 15 years tea planting, the soils grown with CM217 and CN tea varieties showed better soil quality.

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We thank Olivia Wrigley for her linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript. This work was supported by the Science and Technology Supporting Project of Sichuan Province [2013NZ0044].

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Lei Du, Xizhou Zhang, Zicheng Zheng, and Tingxuan Li designed the paper. Lei Du developed and implemented the research plan. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript, with writing led by Lei Du.

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Correspondence to Xizhou Zhang.

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Du, L., Zheng, Z., Li, T. et al. Variations of fungal communities within the soils of different tea varieties (Camellia sinensis L.) following long-term plantation. Plant Soil 477, 665–677 (2022).

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  • Tea plantation soil
  • Tea variety
  • Fungal community
  • Fungal functional guild