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Soil microbiome mediated nutrients decline during forest degradation process

Abstract

Degradation succession in forests is an important and serious land use/cover change problem in ecology, and during these processes soil microbial communities mediate the recycling of most important nutrients. To reveal the effect of degradation succession processes on soil microbial community diversity, structure, and species interrelationships, we collected abundant samples (21 per vegetation type) in broad-leaved forest, coniferous forest, and meadow to observe the microbial community dynamics. The results showed that diversity and structure of soil prokaryotic and fungal communities responded differently to different forest degradation processes, diversity of soil microbial communities increased during degradation processes. Soil microbial communities abundance changes may indicate that prokaryotic communities showed a living strategies change as an ecological adaption to harsh conditions during forest degradation process. While for fungal communities, their abundance changes may indicate that environmental selection pressure and plant selectivity during forest degradation process. Changes in soil prokaryotic communities and fungal communities were both correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen loss. The soil microbial interaction network analysis indicated more complex species interrelationships formed due to the loss of soil nutrients during degradation succession processes, suggesting soil microbial communities might form more complex and stable networks to resist the external disturbance of soil nutrient loss. All results suggested soil microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea and fungi, all involved in the soil nutrient decline during the forest degradation process.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31540071), Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, CAS (QYZDB-SSW-DQC026), Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDB15010302), the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFZD-SW-219-3) and CAS 100 talent program. We are grateful to Dr. James Voordeckers for his constructive comments and careful edition on the final version.

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Liu, Y., Wang, S., Wang, Z. et al. Soil microbiome mediated nutrients decline during forest degradation process. Soil Ecol. Lett. 1, 59–71 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42832-019-0009-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42832-019-0009-7

Keywords

  • Microbial communities
  • Degradation succession
  • Soil nutrients
  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Molecular ecological networks