Differential response of archaeal groups to land use change in an acidic red soil
MetadataShow full item record
Land use management, one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic disturbance to terrestrial ecosystems, has exerted overriding impacts on soil biogeochemical cycling and inhabitant microorganisms. However, the knowledge concerning response of different archaeal groups to long-term land use changes is still limited in terrestrial environments. Here we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) approaches to investigate the response of archaeal communities to four different land use practices, i.e. cropland, pine forest, restoration land and degradation land. qPCR analyses showed that expression of the archaeal amoA gene responds more sensitively to changes of land use. In particular, we observed, occurring at significantly lower numbers of archaeal amoA genes in degradation land samples, while the abundance of total archaea and Group 1.1c based on 16S rRNA gene copy numbers remained constant among the different treatments examined. Soil nitrate content is significantly correlated with archaeal amoA gene abundance, but not their bacterial counterparts. The percentage of archaea among total prokaryote communities increases with increasing depth, but has no significant relationship with total carbon, total nitrogen or pH. Soil pH was significantly correlated with total bacterial abundance. Based on results from PCR-DGGE, three land use practices (i.e. cropland, pine forest, restoration land) showed distinct dominant bands, which were mostly affiliated with Group 1.1a. Degradation land, however, was dominated by sequences belonging to Group 1.1c. Results from this study suggest that community structure of ammonia oxidizing archaea were significantly impacted by land use practices.
Science of the Total Environment