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Bacterial Diversity In Soils Subjected To Long-term Chemical Fertilization Can Be More Stably Maintained With The Addition Of Livestock Manure Than Wheat Straw

Ruibo Sun, X. Zhang, Xisheng Guo, D. Wang, H. Chu
Published 2015 · Biology

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Abstract Addition of organic matter such as livestock manures and plant residues is a feasible practice to mitigate soil degradation caused by long-term application of chemical fertilizers, and the mitigation is largely mediated though activities of the soil-dwelling microorganisms. However, the roles of different kinds of organic matter in maintaining bacterial community structure have not been assessed in a comparative manner. In this study, 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene was employed to compare the bacterial community structure among soils that had been subjected to 30 years of NPK fertilization under six treatment regimes: non-fertilization control, fertilization only, and fertilization combined with the use of pig manure, cow manure or low- and high-level of wheat straws. Consistent with expectation, long-term application of NPK chemical fertilizers caused a significant decrease of bacterial diversity in terms of species richness (i.e. number of unique operational taxonomic units (OTU)), Faith's index of phylogenetic diversity and Chao 1 index. Incorporation of wheat straw into soil produced little effects on bacterial community, whereas addition of either pig manure or cow manure restored bacterial diversity to levels that are comparable to that of the non-fertilization control. Moreover, bacterial abundance determined by quantitative PCR was positively correlated with the nutritional status of the soil (e.g., nitrate, total nitrogen, total carbon, available phosphorus); however, bacterial diversity was predominantly determined by soil pH. Together, our data implicate the role of livestock manures in preventing the loss of bacterial diversity during long-term chemical fertilization, and highlight pH as the major deterministic factor for soil bacterial community structure.
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