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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Microbial responses to southward and northward Cambisol soil transplant

  • Author(s): Wang, M
  • Liu, S
  • Wang, F
  • Sun, B
  • Zhou, J
  • Yang, Y
  • et al.

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© 2015 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Soil transplant serves as a proxy to simulate climate changes. Recently, we have shown that southward transplant of black soil and northward transplant of red soil altered soil microbial communities and biogeochemical variables. However, fundamental differences in soil types have prevented direct comparison between southward and northward transplants. To tackle it, herein we report an analysis of microbial communities of Cambisol soil in an agriculture field after 4 years of adaptation to southward and northward soil transplants over large transects. Analysis of bare fallow soils revealed concurrent increase in microbial functional diversity and coarse-scale taxonomic diversity at both transplanted sites, as detected by GeoChip 3.0 and DGGE, respectively. Furthermore, a correlation between microbial functional diversity and taxonomic diversity was detected, which was masked in maize cropped soils. Mean annual temperature, soil moisture, and nitrate (NO3--N) showed strong correlations with microbial communities. In addition, abundances of ammonium-oxidizing genes (amoA) and denitrification genes were correlated with nitrification capacity and NO3--N contents, suggesting that microbial responses to soil transplant could alter microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycle at the ecosystem level. This study proved that microbial responses to southward and northward soil transplants were asymmetric. Microbial responses at the community level to soil transplant can result in altered ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycle.

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