Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1518–1529 | Cite as

Seasonal variation rather than stand age determines bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.) associated with soil degradation

  • Junhua Zhang
  • Ming Li
  • Keli Jia
  • Guoqi Zheng
  • Xi-En Long
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



Soil degradation occurs in wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.) fields with increasing stand age, but the effect of stand age on rhizosphere microbial communities is unclear. We examined the seasonal variation of rhizosphere bacterial communities under long-term cultivation of L. barbarum.

Materials and methods

We determined surface (0–20 cm) and subsurface (20–40 cm) soil properties in L. barbarum rhizosphere at four stand ages (3–15 years) across three growth seasons (spring–autumn). Soil bacterial communities were characterized by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing.

Results and discussion

Soil nutrient availability in the surface was higher than that in the subsurface. Total soil organic carbon (TOC), nitrogen (TN), and phosphorus (TP) occurred at the highest levels in the summer across different stand ages. Soil bacterial diversity in the autumn was lower than that in the spring and summer. More diverse communities were found at stand ages of 3 and 6 years compared with 9 and 15 years. The relative abundance of Proteobacteria was highest in the summer, whereas the relative abundance of Bacteroidete at stand age of 9 years was significantly higher than those at other stand ages across different seasons. Xanthomonadaceae abundance increased with stand age, while Bacillus and Pirellulaceae abundances decreased in the spring and summer compared with autumn. Soil electric conductivity was a key edaphic factor for the rhizosphere bacterial community structure.


Seasonal fluctuation, rather than stand age, determines soil bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of L. barbarum associated with soil degradation under long-term cultivation of L. barbarum.


Growth season Medicinal plant Rhizosphere bacteria Stand age 



This study was supported by Major Innovation Projects for Building First class University in China’s Western Region (ZKZD2017004). The insightful comments from the anonymous reviewers are also deeply acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11368_2017_1854_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 44 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental EngineeringNingxia UniversityYinchuanChina
  2. 2.Ningxia (China-Arab) Key Laboratory of Resource Assessment and Environmental Regulation in Arid RegionNingxia UniversityYinchuanChina
  3. 3.Resource and Environment College of Ningxia UniversityYinchuanChina
  4. 4.College of Life ScienceNingxia UniversityYinchuanChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina

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