Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1546–1558 | Cite as

Effects of vegetation coverage and seasonal change on soil microbial biomass and community structure in the dry-hot valley region

  • Han Wu
  • Dong-hong Xiong
  • Liang Xiao
  • Su Zhang
  • Yong Yuan
  • Zheng-an Su
  • Bao-jun Zhang
  • Dan Yang


Soil microorganisms are sensitive indicator of soil health and quality. Understanding the effects of vegetation biomass and seasonal change on soil microorganisms is vital to evaluate the soil quality and implement vegetation restoration. This study analyzed the soil phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) in fresh and withered Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) vegetation conditions in different seasons. The results showed that vegetation biomass and seasonal change significantly affected microbial biomass and its community structure. Both fresh and withered Kudzu cover significantly increased soil microbial biomass, and the growth effect of microbes in the soil with fresh Kudzu cover was more obvious than that with withered Kudzu cover. Compared with the dry season, the rainy season significantly increased the microbial biomass and the B/F (the ratio of bacterial to fungal PLFAs) ratio but dramatically reduced the G+/G- (the ratio of gram-positive to gram-negative bacteria PLFAs). Kudzu cover and seasonal change had a significant effect on microbial structure in soil covered by higher vegetation biomass. Furthermore, soil temperature and moisture had different correlations with specific microbial biomass in the two seasons. Our findings highlight the effect of Kudzu vine cover on the soil microenvironment and soil microhabitat, enhancing the soil quality in the Dry-hot Valley of Jinsha River, Southwest China.


Phospholipid fatty acid Vegetation Soil microbes Soil temperature Soil moisture Dry-hot valley 


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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0505102), the National Basic Research Programme (973 Programme) of China (2015CB452704), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571277) and the Key Programme of the “Western Light” Talents Cultivation programme of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2014).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Processes, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of ScienceChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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