Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (9): 962-971.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018033

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessing influence of simulated canopy nitrogen deposition and understory removal on soil microbial community structure in a Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation

Xueming Lei1, Fangfang Shen1, Xuechen Lei1, Wenfei Liu1, Honglang Duan1, Houbao Fan1, Jianping Wu2,*()   

  1. 1 Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems & Watershed Ecohydrology, Nanchang Institute of Technology, Nanchang 330099;
    2 Laboratory of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091
  • Received:2018-02-01 Accepted:2018-05-24 Online:2018-09-20 Published:2019-01-05
  • Contact: Wu Jianping
  • About author:# Co-first authors

Abstract:

Soil microorganisms have been recognized as important decomposers that link above- and below-ground processes in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we conducted an experiment to assess the influence of canopy nitrogen deposition and understory removal in a Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation. The effects of four treatments, i.e. control (CK), understory removal (UR), nitrogen deposition (N) and nitrogen deposition plus understory removal (N × UR) on soil microbial community were investigated using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Soil samples (0-10 layer) were collected in April (spring) and October (autumn), 2016. Results showed that the total soil microbial PLFAs and the other groups (bacteria, fungi and actinomycete) of soil microbial PLFAs in autumn were significantly higher than those in spring, but fungi/bacteria ratio did not change significantly between two sampling seasons. Bacteria dominated among different PLFAs groups, followed by fungi and actinomycetes. Relative to CK treatment, UR treatment had slightly higher total PLFAs, bacterial PLFAs, gram negative bacterial PLFAs and actinomycetes PLFAs although not significant at 0.05 level. Shannon-Wiener and Pielou indices of UR, N and N × UR treatments decreased in April whereas Shannon-Wiener index was higher in October. Soil nitrate nitrogen and total phosphorus were significantly correlated with soil microbial community based on redundancy analysis. No significant effect of nitrogen deposition was observed probably due to the short period of study. But understory removal seems to promote the impact of nitrogen deposition. Seasonal variations were detected in this study suggesting that long-term experiments are required to explore the continuing effects of environmental changes on soil microbial communities and their functions.

Key words: soil microbial community, biodiversity, nitrogen deposition, understory removal, Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation