Spatial and temporal dynamics of nitrogen fixing, nitrifying and denitrifying microbes in an unfertilized grassland soil

Regan, Kathleen; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Schloter, Michael; Rasche, Frank; Prati, Daniel; Philippot, Laurent; Boeddinghaus, Runa S.; Kandeler, Ellen; Marhan, Sven (2017). Spatial and temporal dynamics of nitrogen fixing, nitrifying and denitrifying microbes in an unfertilized grassland soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 109, pp. 214-226. Elsevier 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.011

[img] Text
2017_SoilBiolBiochem_109_214.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Request a copy

The microbial groups of nitrogen fixers, ammonia oxidizers, and denitrifiers largely drive the inorganic nitrogen cycle in temperate terrestrial ecosystems. Their spatial and temporal dynamics, however, vary depending on the studied scale. The present study aimed to fill a knowledge gap by providing an explicit picture of spatial and temporal dynamics of a subset of these soil microorganisms at the plot scale. We selected an unfertilized perennial grassland, where nitrogen cycling is considered to be efficient and tightly coupled to plant growth. At six times over one growing season 60 soil samples were taken from a 10 m × 10 m area and abundances of marker genes for total archaea and bacteria (16S rRNA), nitrogen fixing bacteria (nifH), ammonia oxidizing archaea (amoA AOA) and bacteria (amoA AOB), and denitrifying bacteria (nirS, nirK and nosZ) were determined by qPCR. Potential nitrification activity (PNA) and denitrifying enzyme activity (DEA) were determined. Seasonal changes in abundance patterns of marker genes were detected, and were associated with changes in substrate availability associated with plant growth stages. Potential nitrification and denitrification enzyme activities were strongly spatially structured at the studied scale, corresponding to periods of rapid plant growth, June and October, and their spatial distributions were similar, providing visual evidence of highly localized spatial and temporal conditions at this scale. Temporal variability in the N-cycling communities versus the stability of their respective potential activities provided evidence of both short-lived temporal niche partitioning and a degree of microbial functional redundancy. Our results indicate that in an unfertilized grassland, at the meter scale, abundances of microbial N-cycling organisms can exhibit transient changes, while nitrogen cycling processes remain stable.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Prati, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0038-0717

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

20 Dec 2016 10:20

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2017 13:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.011

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ammonia-oxidation, Denitrification, Potential enzyme activity, Biogeography, Niche-partitioning, Spatio-temporal variability

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.90563

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/90563

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback