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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379243

Research Project: Develop Water Management Strategies to Sustain Water Productivity and Protect Water Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Century long fertilization reduces stochasticity controlling grassland microbial community succession

item LIANG, YUTING - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item NING, DALIANG - University Of Oklahoma
item LU, ZHENMEI - University Of Oklahoma
item ZHANG, NA - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Hale, Lauren
item WU, LIYOU - University Of Oklahoma
item CLARK, IAN - Rothamsted Research
item MCGRATH, STEVE - Rothamsted Research
item STORKEY, JONATHAN - Rothamsted Research
item HIRSCH, PENNY - Rothamsted Research
item SUN, BO - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item ZHOU, JIZHONG - University Of Oklahoma

Submitted to: Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2020
Publication Date: 9/28/2020
Citation: Liang, Y., Ning, D., Lu, Z., Zhang, N., Hale, L.E., Wu, L., Clark, I.M., Mcgrath, S.P., Storkey, J., Hirsch, P.R., Sun, B., Zhou, J. 2020. Century long fertilization reduces stochasticity controlling grassland microbial community succession. Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 151.

Interpretive Summary: Fertilizers were applied to a permanent grassland over a century timescale in the worlds longest-running ecological experiment. Archived soils were used to examine soil microbial communities from fertilized and non-fertilized plots from 1870 to 2008. Analyses revealed that the assembly of functional guilds of microbes exposed to the long-term fertilization were driven more so by deterministic processes than were those in soils having never received fertilizer. This may reflect higher homogeneity in the fertilized soil and/or communities with lower functional redundancy. Altogether, implications of this research suggest that fertilization can shape microbial communities with reduced functional potentials across time.

Technical Abstract: Determining the drivers underlying ecological succession is essential for predicting ecosystem functioning in response to human-induced environmental changes. Although various studies have examined the impacts of nitrogen (N) addition on plant and microbial community diversity, structure and activities, it remains unknown how long-term anthropogenic fertilization affects the ecological succession of microbial functional guilds and its underlying community assembly mechanisms. Here, using archived soils, we examined more than a century's succession in soil microbial functional communities (from 1870 to 2008) from the Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted Experimental Station, the longest running ecological experiment in the world. Long-term fertilization was found to significantly alter soil functional community structure and led to increasingly convergent succession of soil microbial communities. The importance of stochastic assembly varied greatly in regulating the succession of different microbial guilds. Fertilization had large to medium effects on reducing ecological stochasticity for microbial guilds involved in carbon (C) fixation and degradation, nitrogen (N) fixation and mineralization, and denitrification. This century long-term study elucidated the differing influences of assembly mechanisms on soil microbial functional communities involved in C and N cycling, which has important implications for understanding and predicting the microbial mediated ecological consequences of human-induced environmental changes.