Effects of long-term fertilization on AM fungal community structure and Glomalin-related soil protein in the Loess Plateau of China

Fasi Wu, Maoxing Dong, Yongjun Liu, Xiaojun Ma, Lizhe An, J. Young, Huyuan Feng

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Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are crucial for ecosystem functioning, and thus have potential use for sustainable agriculture. In this study, we investigated the impact of organic and mineral fertilizers on the AMF community composition and content of Glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) in a field experimental station which was established in 1979, in the Loess Plateau of China. Roots and soils were sampled three times during the growing period of winter wheat in 2008. The treatments including: N (inorganic N), NP (inorganic N and P), SNP (straw, inorganic N and P), M (farmyard manure), MNP (farmyard manure, inorganic N and P), and CK (no fertilization). AMF communities of root and soil samples were analyzed using PCR-DGGE, cloning and sequencing techniques; and GRSP content was determined by Bradford assay. Our results indicated that spore density, GRSP, and AMF community varied significantly in soils of long-term fertilization plots at three different wheat growing stages. The effects of wheat growing period on AMF community in roots were much more evident than fertilization regimes. However, the diversity of AMF was low in our study field. Up to five AMF phylotypes appeared in each sample, with the overwhelming dominance of a Glomus-like phylotype affiliated to G. mosseae. GRSP content was correlated positively with organic carbon, total phosphorus, available phosphorus, soil pH, and spore densities, but correlated negatively with soil C/N (P < 0.05). The results of our study highlight that the richness of AMF in Loess Plateau agricultural region is low, and long-term fertilization, especially amendments with manure and straw, has beneficial effects on accumulation of soil organic carbon, spore density, GRSP content, and AMF diversity. Host phenology, edaphic factors (influenced by long-term fertilization), and habitats interacted to affect the AMF community and agoecosystem functioning. Additionally, soil moisture and pH make a greater contribution than other determined soil parameters to the AMF community dynamics in such a special semi-arid agroecosystem where crops rely greatly on rainfall.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)233-247
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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