Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 3442–3452 | Cite as

Long-term stacking coal promoted soil bacterial richness associated with increased soil organic matter in coal yards of power plants

  • Congcong Shen
  • Dawei Ma
  • Ruibo Sun
  • Benyao Zhang
  • Delin Li
  • Yuan GeEmail author
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Coal exploitation inevitably brings a chain of ecological problems, e.g., land destruction and biodiversity decrease. Most previous studies have investigated the ecological effect of coal mining process and the ecological restoration after coal mining practice. However, no study has concerned about the potential influence of long-term stacking coal process on soil microbial communities, the pivotal components to maintain the health of terrestrial ecosystems. This study aims to investigate the influence of long-term stacking coal on soil microbial communities, as well as the time effect.

Materials and methods

We collected soil samples from coal yards of four power plants (representing four stacking time: 10, 28, 31, and 71 years) in Huainan city. Soils in the lawn near each coal yard were also selected as control at four sites. Soil microbial communities were analyzed via 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequencing.

Results and discussion

Our results showed that long-term stacking coal significantly (P < 0.05) increased soil organic matter (SOM), and thus facilitated soil bacterial richness and the shifts of bacterial community composition. We also detected significant (P < 0.05) increase of SOM, bacterial richness, and community dissimilarity with stacking time, indicating a substantial time effect. Meanwhile, predicted functional data implied that stacking coal activated anaerobic microbial communities by forming an anaerobic environment in soils.


Together, these data provide basic knowledge of the potential influence of long-term stacking coal on soil microbial communities and reinforce the role of SOM in shaping bacterial community composition and richness.


Soil organic matter Soil microbial community Stacking coal Time effect 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41701273, 41671254) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hundred Talents Program to Y. Ge).


  1. Baek G, Kim J, Shin SG, Lee C (2016) Bioaugmentation of anaerobic sludge digestion with iron-reducing bacteria: process and microbial responses to variations in hydraulic retention time. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 100:927–937CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bianchi TS (2011) The role of terrestrially derived organic carbon in the coastal ocean: a changing paradigm and the priming effect. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108:19473–19481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caporaso JG, Kuczynski J, Stombaugh J, Bittinger K, Bushman FD, Costello EK et al (2010) Correspondence QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data intensity normalization improves color calling in SOLiD sequencing. Nat Publ Gr 7:335–336Google Scholar
  4. Chen W, Westerhoff P, Leenheer JA, Booksh K (2003) Fluorescence excitation - emission matrix regional integration to quantify spectra for dissolved organic matter. Environ Sci Technol 37:5701–5710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cui J, Liu C, Li Z, Wang L, Chen X, Ye Z, Fang C (2012) Long-term changes in topsoil chemical properties under centuries of cultivation after reclamation of coastal wetlands in the Yangtze Estuary, China. Soil Tillage Res 123:50–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dini-Andreote F, Stegen JC, van Elsas JD, Salles JF (2015) Disentangling mechanisms that mediate the balance between stochastic and deterministic processes in microbial succession. Proc Natl Acad Sci 112:E1326–E1332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dorr de Quadros P, Zhalnina K, Davis-Richardson AG, Drew JC, Menezes FB, Camargo FAO et al (2016) Coal mining practices reduce the microbial biomass, richness and diversity of soil. Appl Soil Ecol 98:195–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edgar RC (2010) Search and clustering orders of magnitude faster than BLAST. Bioinformatics 26:2460–2461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ge Y, Zhang J, Zhang L, Yang M, He J (2008) Long-term fertilization regimes affect bacterial community structure and diversity of an agricultural soil in northern China. J Soils Sediments 8:43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ge T, Nie S, Wu J, Shen J, Xiao H, Tong C et al (2011) Chemical properties, microbial biomass, and activity differ between soils of organic and conventional horticultural systems under greenhouse and open field management: a case study. J Soils Sediments 11:25–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ge T, Yuan H, Zhu H, Wu X, Nie S, Liu C et al (2012) Biological carbon assimilation and dynamics in a flooded rice – soil system. Soil Biol Biochem 48:39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ge T, Wei X, Razavi BS, Zhu Z, Hu Y, Kuzyakov Y, Jones DL, Wu J (2017) Stability and dynamics of enzyme activity patterns in the rice rhizosphere: effects of plant growth and temperature. Soil Biol Biochem 113:108–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ge Y, Shen C, Wang Y, Sun Y, Schimel JP, Gardea-Torresdey JL et al (2018) Carbonaceous nanomaterials have higher effects on soybean rhizosphere prokaryotic communities during the reproductive growth phase than during vegetative growth. Environ Sci Technol 52:6636–6646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Geng C, Chen J, Yang X, Ren L, Yin B, Liu X, Bai Z (2014) Emission factors of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from domestic coal combustion in China. J Environ Sci (China) 26:160–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grayston SJ, Campbell CD, Bardgett RD, Mawdsley JL, Clegg CD, Ritz K, Griffiths BS, Rodwell JS, Edwards SJ, Davies WJ, Elston DJ, Millard P (2004) Assessing shifts in microbial community structure across a range of grasslands of differing management intensity using CLPP, PLFA and community DNA techniques. Appl Soil Ecol 25:63–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Guo D, Bai Z, Shangguan T, Shao H, Qiu W (2011) Impacts of coal mining on the aboveground vegetation and soil quality: a case study of Qinxin coal mine in Shanxi province, China. Clean - Soil Air Water 39:219–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hansel CM, Lentini CJ, Tang Y, Johnston DT, Wankel SD, Jardine PM (2015) Dominance of sulfur-fueled iron oxide reduction in low-sulfate freshwater sediments. ISME J 9:2400–2412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hatcher PG, Clifford DJ (1997) The organic geochemistry of coal: from plant material to coal. Org Geochem 5–6(251–257):259–274Google Scholar
  19. Henderson RK, Baker A, Murphy KR, Hambly A, Stuetz RM, Khan SJ (2009) Fluorescence as a potential monitoring tool for recycled water systems: a review. Water Res 43:863–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jackson ML (1958) Soil chemical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, pp 111–133Google Scholar
  21. Li J, Pu L, Zhu M, Zhang J, Li P, Dai X et al (2014a) Evolution of soil properties following reclamation in coastal areas: a review. Geoderma 226–227:130–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li Y, Wen H, Chen L, Yin T (2014b) Succession of bacterial community structure and diversity in soil along a chronosequence of reclamation and re-vegetation on coal mine spoils in China. PLoS One 9(12):e115024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li L, Liu M, Wu M, Jiang C, Chen X, Ma X, Liu J, Li W, Tang X, Li Z (2017) Effects of duckweed (Spriodela polyrrhiza) remediation on the composition of dissolved organic matter in effluent of scale pig farms. J Environ Sci 55:247–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li Y, Chapman SJ, Nicol GW, Yao H et al (2018) Nitrification and nitrifiers in acidic soils. Soil Biol Biochem 116:290–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu X, Bai Z, Zhou W, Cao Y, Zhang G (2017) Changes in soil properties in the soil profile after mining and reclamation in an opencast coal mine on the Loess Plateau, China. Ecol Eng 98:228–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Long X, Huang Y, Chi H, Li Y, Ahmad N, Yao H (2018) Nitrous oxide flux, ammonia oxidizer and denitrifier abundance and activity across three different landfill cover soils in Ningbo, China. J Clean Prod 170:2288–2297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lou Y, Ye ZL, Chen S, Ye X, Deng Y, Zhang J (2018) Sorption behavior of tetracyclines on suspended organic matters originating from swine wastewater. J Environ Sci 65:144–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Masoom H, Courtier-Murias D, Farooq H, Soong R, Kelleher BP, Zhang C, Maas WE, Fey M, Kumar R, Monette M, Stronks HJ, Simpson MJ, Simpson AJ (2016) Soil organic matter in its native state: unravelling the most complex biomaterial on earth. Environ Sci Technol 50:1670–1680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nelson DW, Sommers LE (1982) Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysisGoogle Scholar
  30. Tang Q, Liu G, Zhou C, Sun R (2013) Distribution of trace elements in feed coal and combustion residues from two coal-fired power plants at Huainan, Anhui, China. Fuel 107:315–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zhang J, Zhang Y, Quan X, Chen S (2015) Enhancement of anaerobic acidogenesis by integrating an electrochemical system into an acidogenic reactor: effect of hydraulic retention times (HRT) and role of bacteria and acidophilic methanogenic archaea. Bioresour Technol 179:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang W, Cao B, Wang D, Ma T, Xia H, Yu D (2016) Influence of wastewater sludge treatment using combined peroxyacetic acid oxidation and inorganic coagulants re-flocculation on characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Water Res 88:728–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Grid Anhui Electric Power Co.Ltd. Research InstituteHefeiChina
  4. 4.Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesShijiazhuangChina

Personalised recommendations