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Research Project: Towards Resilient Agricultural Systems to Enhance Water Availability, Quality, and Other Ecosystem Services under Changing Climate and Land Use

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Title: The microbiome structure of Oklahoma cropland and prairie soils and its response to seasonal forcing and management practices

item CORNELL, CAROLYN - University Of Oklahoma
item Peterson-Munks, Brekke
item ZHOU, JIZHONG - University Of Oklahoma
item XIOA, XIANGMING - University Of Oklahoma
item WAWRIK, BORIS - University Of Oklahoma

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2017
Publication Date: 12/12/2017
Citation: Cornell, C., Peterson-Munks, B.L., Zhou, J., Xioa, X., Wawrik, B. 2017. The microbiome structure of Oklahoma cropland and prairie soils and its response to seasonal forcing and management practices [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from soils are primarily the consequence of microbial processes. Agricultural management of soils is known to impact the structure of microbial communities, and it is likely that dominant GHG emitting microbial activities are impacted via requisite practices. To gain better insight into the impact of seasonal forcing and management practices on the microbiome structure in Southern Plains agricultural soils, a seasonal study was conducted. Over a year period, samples were collected bi-weekly during wet months, and monthly during dry months from two grassland and two managed (tilling and manure application) agricultural sites in El Reno, Oklahoma. Microbial community structure was determined in quadruplicate for each site and time point via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Measures of soil water content, subsoil nitrate, ammonium, organic matter, total nitrogen, and biomass were also taken for each time point. Data analysis revealed several important trends, indicating greater microbial diversity in native grassland and distinct microbial community changes in response to management practices. The native grassland soils also contained greater microbial biomass than managed soils and both varied in response to rainfall events. Native grassland soils harbor more diverse microbial communities with the diversity and biomass decreasing with the intensity of agricultural management. These data indicate that microbial community structure in Southern Plains soils occurs along a continuum in which native grasslands and highly managed agricultural soils form end members. Integration with measurements from flux towers into modelling efforts using a DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model is currently being explored to improve predictions of GHG emissions from grassland soils.