Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 114–125 | Cite as

The soil bacterial community in cropland is vulnerable to Cd contamination in winter rather than in summer

  • Fengqiu An
  • Haihong Li
  • Zhan Diao
  • Jialong LvEmail author
Research Article


Potentially toxic metal contamination exerts a significant impact on soil microbes, thus deteriorating soil quality. The seasonality also has effects in shaping soil microbial community. The soil microbial community is a crucial factor representing soil health. However, whether the influence of potentially toxic metals on the microbial community differs in different seasons are still unknown. In this study, we established nine mesocosms of three cadmium treatments to investigate the impact of Cd amendments on the bacterial community of croplands in winter and summer. High bacterial diversity was revealed from the soil samples with 31 phyla. In winter, the abundance of dominant phylum Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Verrucomicrobia increased, but Firmicutes decreased in Cd-contaminated soil in winter. Meanwhile, the abundance of Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Chloroflexi showed Cd dose-dependent pattern in winter. In summer, the phylum Gemmatimonadetes and Verrucomicrobia decreased along with Cd dosing, while the dose-effect of Cd was found on the abundance of Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi. At the genus level, 55 genera of bacteria were significantly affected by Cd stress in winter, 24 genera decreased, 11 genera increased along with Cd gradients, and 20 genera changed depending on Cd dosage. In particular, genera Lactococcus, Psychrobacter, Brochothrix, Enhydrobacter, and Carnobacterium disappeared in Cd treatments, suggesting high sensitivity to Cd stress in winter. In summer, one genus decreased, seven genera increased with Cd dosing, and three genera were dose-dependent. The contrasting effects of Cd on soil bacterial community could be due to different edaphic factors in winter (moisture, available phosphorus, and total Cd) and summer (available Cd). Collectively, the winter-induced multiple stressors increase the impact of Cd on bacterial community in cropland. In further studies, the seasonal factor should be taken into consideration during the sampling stage.


Bacterial diversity Contaminated soils Season Mesocosm Illumina sequencing 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China (No.200903015), Environmental protection station of the Ministry of Agriculture in Shaanxi province, and the project of education department in Shaanxi Province(No.18JK0354). We would like to thank professor Xueyun Yang and associate professor Benhua Sun for laboratory assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3531_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fengqiu An
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haihong Li
    • 2
  • Zhan Diao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jialong Lv
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Agri-environment in Northwest ChinaNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental and Chemical EngineeringPolytechnic UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Law School & Intellectual Property SchoolJiNan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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