Dynamics of Soil Bacterial Communities Over a Vegetation Season Relate to Both Soil Nutrient Status and Plant Growth Phenology
- 493 Downloads
Soil microorganisms regulate element cycling and plant nutrition, mediate co-existence of neighbors, and stabilize plant communities. Many of these effects are dependent upon environmental conditions and, in particular, on nutrient quality and availability in soils. In this context, we set up a pot experiment in order to examine the combined effects of soil nutrient availability and microbial communities on plant-soil interactions and to investigate assemblage rules for soil bacterial communities under changed nutrient conditions. Four gamma-sterilized soils, strongly differing in their nutrient contents, were obtained from different fertilization treatments of a centenary field experiment and used to grow communities of grassland plants. The sterilized soils were either self- or cross-inoculated with microbial consortia from the same four soils. Molecular fingerprinting analyses were carried out at several time points in order to identify drivers and underlying processes of microbial community assemblage. We observed that the bacterial communities that developed in the inoculated sterilized soils differed from those in the original soils, displaying dynamic shifts over time. These shifts were illustrated by the appearance of numerous OTUs that had not been detected in the original soils. The community patterns observed in the inoculated treatments suggested that bacterial community assembly was determined by both niche-mediated and stochastic-neutral processes, whereby the relative impacts of these processes changed over the course of the vegetation season. Moreover, our experimental approach allowed us not only to evaluate the effects of soil nutrients on plant performance but also to recognize a negative effect of the microbial community present in the soil that had not been fertilized for more than 100 years on plant biomass. Our findings demonstrate that soil inoculation-based approaches are valid for investigating plant-soil-microbe interactions and for examining rules that shape soil microbial community assemblages under variable ecological conditions.
KeywordsSoil bacterial communities B-ARISA fingerprinting Inoculation of sterilized soil Plant-soil interactions Niche and neutral assemblage processes
This study was financially supported by the HIGRADE PhD scholarship of Davide Francioli and by special funds provided by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ. We wish to thank Ines Merbach, Thomas Fester, and the workers of the Bad Lauchstädt research station for their support during soil sampling, and Gabriele Henning, Jacqueline Rose, and Renate Rudloff for kindly providing the edaphic data. We are also grateful to Caterina Maggi for her assistance.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 2.Wall DH, Virginia RA (2000) The world beneath our feet: soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In: Raven P, Williams TA (eds) Nature and human society: the quest for a sustainable world. National Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, D.C., Google Scholar
- 5.Coleman DC, Crossley Jr DA, Hendrix PF (2004) 7—soil biodiversity and linkages to soil processes. Fundamentals of soil ecology (second edition). Academic, Burlington, pp. 247–270Google Scholar
- 10.Prosser JI, Bohannan BJ, Curtis TP, Ellis RJ, Firestone MK, Freckleton RP, Green JL, Green LE, Killham K, Lennon JJ, Osborn AM, Solan M, van der Gast CJ, Young JP (2007) The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology Nat Rev Microbiol 5:384–392. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1643 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 14.Hacquard S, Garrido-Oter R, González A, Spaepen S, Ackermann G, Lebeis S, McHardy Alice C, Dangl Jeffrey L, Knight R, Ley R, Schulze-Lefert P (2015) Microbiota and host nutrition across plant and animal kingdoms Cell Host Microbe 17:603–616. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.009 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 19.Merbach I, Körschens M (2002) The static fertilization experiment at the start and the end of the 20th Century Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 48:413–422. doi: 10.1080/03650340215649
- 25.Purahong W, Stempfhuber B, Lentendu G, Francioli D, Reitz T, Buscot F, Schloter M, Kruger D (2015) Influence of commonly used primer systems on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of bacterial communities in environmental samples PLoS One 10:e0118967. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118967 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 29.Purahong W, Hoppe B, Kahl T, Schloter M, Schulze E-D, Bauhus J, Buscot F, Krüger D (2014) Changes within a single land-use category alter microbial diversity and community structure: molecular evidence from wood-inhabiting fungi in forest ecosystems J Environ Manag 139:109–119. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.031 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 32.Hammer Ø, Harper DAT, Ryan PD (2001) PAST: paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis Palaeontol Electron 4:1–9Google Scholar
- 41.Francioli D, Schulz E, Lentendu G, Wubet T, Buscot F, Reitz T (2016) Mineral vs. organic amendments: microbial community structure, activity and abundance of agriculturally relevant microbes are driven by long-term fertilization strategies. Front Microbiol 7. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01446