The Compositions, Dynamics and Associated Functioning of Soil Microorganism Communities in Forest Ecosystem

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Soil".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2023) | Viewed by 7225

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Life Science and Technology, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, Changsha, China
Interests: soil nutrient cycling; soil carbon; greenhouse gas reduction

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Guest Editor
Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: ecosystem science; microbial diversity; karst forest dynamics; soil phosphorus cycle

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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Central South University of Forestry & Technology, Changsha, China
Interests: sustainable forest management; vegetation-soil-microorganism interaction; soil nutrient cycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil microorganisms play an indispensable role in maintaining forest ecosystem functioning, such as organic matter decomposition, nutrient transformation and supply. Disturbances introduced by global climate changes (e.g., drought and warming) and anthropogenic activities (e.g., land use change and afforestation) are expected to impact the composition and structure of soil microbial communities, which subsequently affects ecological processes and ecosystem functions. Although the dramatic improvements in sequencing technology have improved the understanding of microbial ecology in forest soils in recent years, the responses of forest soil microbes to climate change and anthropogenic factors remain incompletely understood. Therefore, it is of great relevance to elucidate how soil microbial communities respond to various disturbances in forests. In this Special Issue, we aim to bring together studies from a wide array of scientists examining the influence of disturbances on the compositions, dynamics and associated functions of soil microbial communities in forest soils. Proposing approaches for microbial community analysis such as stable isotopes and metagenomics or review papers highlighting research gaps are also welcomed.

Dr. Xiaohong Wu
Dr. Yueming Liang
Dr. Peng Dang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • compositions and dynamics of forest soil microbial communities
  • microbial functions
  • global climate changes
  • anthropogenic forest disturbances

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 9161 KiB  
Article
Soil Microbial Community in Relation to Soil Organic Carbon and Labile Soil Organic Carbon Fractions under Detritus Treatments in a Subtropical Karst Region during the Rainy and Dry Seasons
by Peiwen Liu, Suya Ding, Ning Liu, Yanhua Mo, Yueming Liang and Jiangming Ma
Forests 2023, 14(12), 2291; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14122291 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Climate and detritus influence soil organic carbon (SOC) and labile SOC fractions by affecting soil microbial communities. However, it is not clear how, or to what extent, different detritus treatments affect soil microbial communities and SOC content in karst landscapes during different seasons. [...] Read more.
Climate and detritus influence soil organic carbon (SOC) and labile SOC fractions by affecting soil microbial communities. However, it is not clear how, or to what extent, different detritus treatments affect soil microbial communities and SOC content in karst landscapes during different seasons. Plots in a karst landscape were treated with different detritus input regimes (control, no litter, no roots, no litter or roots, and double litter), and samples were collected during the dry and rainy seasons. We used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA to examine shifts in the diversity and composition of the associated soil microbial communities. Additionally, labile SOC fractions, including dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC), along with soil physicochemical properties and C-degrading enzyme activities, were analyzed. The results revealed that the responses of soil properties and labile SOC fractions to detritus treatments were more pronounced during the rainy season than during the dry season, which mainly reflected that the levels of available potassium (AK), DOC, and MBC were significantly increased during the rainy season. Moreover, SOC and total nitrogen (TN) demonstrated significant changes with the double litter (DL) treatment during the rainy season. The responses of soil microbial communities to detritus treatments varied with the season, as reflected primarily in changes in the relative abundance of Ascomycota, unclassified_K_fungi, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteriota. Climate, detritus treatments, and their interactions had significant effects on the species richness of soil bacterial communities, but did not influence fungal community diversity. Furthermore, structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that the soil bacterial composition had the largest total effects on SOC, DOC, and MBC. In addition to directly influencing SOC, DOC, and MBC, soil properties (TN, AK, and pH) indirectly affected SOC, DOC, and MBC by altering C-degrading enzyme activity and the microbial community. We conclude that detritus treatments affect the soil microbial community and labile carbon fractions during both the rainy and dry seasons. Relationships among SOC, labile SOC fractions, enzyme activities, microbial communities, and function differed between seasons and among treatment types. This research advances our knowledge of how variation in detritus treatments affects biogeochemical cycling in karst soils during the rainy and dry seasons. Full article
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17 pages, 5303 KiB  
Article
Effects of Truffle Inoculation on Root Physiology and Mycorrhizosphere Microbial Communities of Carya illinoinensis Seedlings
by Haoyu Chen, Jiawei Wu, Junping Liu, Pengpeng Tan, Kaikai Zhu and Fangren Peng
Forests 2023, 14(10), 2078; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14102078 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Although they are a valuable edible ectomycorrhizal fungus, truffles (Tuber spp.) nevertheless face significant difficulties in the development of their scale. As a type of high economic value nut-like economic forest tree, the pecan (Carya illinoinensis) serves as a natural [...] Read more.
Although they are a valuable edible ectomycorrhizal fungus, truffles (Tuber spp.) nevertheless face significant difficulties in the development of their scale. As a type of high economic value nut-like economic forest tree, the pecan (Carya illinoinensis) serves as a natural host for truffles. However, the technology for mycorrhizal synthesis in pecan has not yet been developed, and it is still unclear how certain microbes affect this process. In this study, we inoculated the pecan root system with a suspension of truffle spores and investigated the growth physiology of pecan seedlings with various infestation levels, as well as changes in the soil’s physicochemical properties and the makeup of the microbial community at the root level. The findings showed that tuber inoculation significantly increased the peroxidase activity of the pecan root system, significantly decreased the pH, and effective phosphorus content of mycorrhizosphere soil, while increasing the nitrate nitrogen content, and significantly increased the abundance and diversity of the mycorrhizosphere soil fungal community. Different groups of fungal and bacterial markers were formed in the mycorrhizosphere of pecan seedlings at different levels of infestation. In the highly infested group, Rozellomycota and lasiosphaeriaceae were the difference marker fungi, and Xanthobacteraceae, Rhizobiaceae as well as Streptococcaceae were the difference marker bacteria. In the low-infestation group, sphaerosporella was differential marker fungi, and Bacillus and Tumebacillus were differential marker bacteria. The fungal marker flora of the control group consisted of Chaetomium and Gilmaniella. Pseudomonas was the marker bacterial community. Additionally, these fungi included Collarina and Rozellomycota, and several bacteria from the genera Pseudomonas, Gemmatimonas, and others showed highly significant relationships with changes in soil pH, effective phosphorus, and nitrate nitrogen. In conclusion, pecan–truffle mycorrhizal seedlings have the potential to create the ideal microbial community structure needed for mycorrhizal growth, and these microorganisms have the potential to significantly alter the pH, effective phosphorus content, and nitrate nitrogen concentration of the mycorrhizosphere soil. Our results contribute to the understanding of how the mycorrhizosphere microbial community evolves when exogenous mycorrhizal fungi infest host plants and can offer some theoretical guidelines for growing pecan–truffle mycorrhizal seedlings. Full article
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16 pages, 3765 KiB  
Article
N2-Fixing Tree Species Help to Alleviate C- and P-Limitation in Both Rhizosphere and Non-Rhizosphere Soils in the Eucalyptus Plantations of Subtropical China
by Jiajun Li, Haimei Huang, Yeming You, Mingzhu Xiang, Changhang Li, Angang Ming, Hailun Ma and Xueman Huang
Forests 2023, 14(10), 2070; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14102070 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 840
Abstract
The extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) and enzymatic stoichiometry (EES) of soil are useful indicators of shifts in soil nutrition and microbial resource requirements. Nevertheless, it is uncertain how the limitation of soil microbial nutrients is altered by a Eucalyptus plantation mixed with a [...] Read more.
The extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) and enzymatic stoichiometry (EES) of soil are useful indicators of shifts in soil nutrition and microbial resource requirements. Nevertheless, it is uncertain how the limitation of soil microbial nutrients is altered by a Eucalyptus plantation mixed with a N2-fixing tree species. Our study examined the microbial nutrient limitation in two plantations: a pure Eucalyptus plantation (PP) and a mixed plantation (Eucalyptus and Erythrophleum fordii, MP) in rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils, beginning with two indicators, soil EEA and EES. In this study, the soil EEA was considerably (p < 0.05) greater in the MP contrasted to the PP, and the enzyme C:N:P ratios of the PP (1.12:1:1.10) and MP (1.07:1:1.08) both diverged from the global average EEA (1:1:1), and the deviation degree of the PP was greater. The results of the vector analysis demonstrated that the vector angle (VA) and vector length (VL) were considerably (p < 0.05) smaller in the MP contrasted to the PP. In comparison to the PP, the MP had a considerably (p < 0.05) poorer carbon quality index (CQI). Additionally, both microbial and soil properties have a considerable impact on soil EEA and EES, according to variance partitioning analysis (VPA) and redundancy analysis (RDA). In summary, our results show that the restriction of microorganisms on C and P in rhizosphere soils is usually weaker than that in non-rhizosphere soils and that the addition of N2-fixing tree species to Eucalyptus plantations can lessen but not completely remove the restriction of soil microorganisms on C and P. Future management practices involving mixed plantations with N2-fixing trees species could help decrease microbial nutrient limitation and promote sustainable plantations. Full article
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19 pages, 7915 KiB  
Article
Structural and Functional Characteristics of Soil Fungal Communities near Decomposing Moso Bamboo Stumps
by Fengna Liang, Le Yu, Cheng Jin, Xiao Huang, Yonglai Huang, Luhong Tang, Longxing Tang, Xiangqing Ma and Liping Cai
Forests 2023, 14(9), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14091808 - 05 Sep 2023
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Fungi degrade lignin and other fibers, thus playing an essential role in the decomposition of Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J.Houz. (Moso bamboo) stumps. Herein, we characterized key soil fungal communities near different levels of decomposing Moso bamboo stumps (mildly, moderately, and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Fungi degrade lignin and other fibers, thus playing an essential role in the decomposition of Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J.Houz. (Moso bamboo) stumps. Herein, we characterized key soil fungal communities near different levels of decomposing Moso bamboo stumps (mildly, moderately, and heavily decayed). Materials and Methods: High-throughput sequencing technology was used to analyze the soil fungal communities inside and outside of mild, moderate, and heavy decomposing Moso bamboo stumps. Results: We found nine phyla, 30 classes, 77 orders, 149 families, and 247 genera of soil fungi near the bamboo stumps. Soil fungi OTUs and diversity and richness indices were lower outside than inside the stumps, and decreased with increasing degrees of decay. Inside the bamboo stumps, Soil fungi OTUs and diversity and richness indices were the highest and lowest in moderate and heavy decay bamboo stumps, respectively. Ascomycota dominated inside (from 81% to 46%) and outside (from 69% to 49%) the stumps, and their relative abundance gradually decreased with decomposition, whereas that of Basidiomycota increased outside the stumps (from 17% to 49%). Two-way ANOVA showed that the interaction between the two factors of occurring inside and outside the bamboo stumps and the degree of decay, significantly affected Chytridiomycota and Penicillium (p < 0.001) and significantly affected Mucoromycota (p < 0.05). The abundance of different genera was significantly correlated with saprotrophic functional groups. Conclusion: Changes in the structure and functional groups of soil fungal communities may play an important role during different levels of decomposition of Moso bamboo stumps. This study provides a scientific basis for screening functional fungal strains that promote the decomposition of Moso bamboo stumps. Full article
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23 pages, 7626 KiB  
Article
Soil Microbial Community Composition and Diversity Analysis under Different Land Use Patterns in Taojia River Basin
by Zhe He, Chenglin Yuan, Peirou Chen, Ziqiang Rong, Ting Peng, Taimoor Hassan Farooq, Guangjun Wang, Wende Yan and Jun Wang
Forests 2023, 14(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14051004 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2862
Abstract
Soil microorganisms are greatly affected by their microenvironment. To reveal the influence of different land use patterns on the composition and diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities, this study analyzed microbial (bacteria and fungi) community composition and diversity under different land use [...] Read more.
Soil microorganisms are greatly affected by their microenvironment. To reveal the influence of different land use patterns on the composition and diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities, this study analyzed microbial (bacteria and fungi) community composition and diversity under different land use patterns (vegetable land, wasteland, woodland, cultivated land) based on 16S rRNA, 18S rRNA, and high-throughput sequencing method in the Taojia River Basin. Spearman analysis and redundancy analysis (RDA) were used to explore the correlation between soil physicochemical properties and soil fungal and bacterial community composition, and a partial least squares path model (PLS-PM) was constructed to express the causal relationship between soil physicochemical properties and soil bacterial and fungal community diversity. The results showed that the soil bacterial species richness was highest in vegetable land and the lowest in the wasteland. Proteobacteria is the dominant phylum (20.69%–32.70%), and Actinobacteria is the dominant class (7.99%–16.95%). The species richness of fungi in woodland was the highest, while was the lowest in cultivated land. The dominant phylum of fungi in vegetable land, woodland, and cultivated land is Mucoromycota, 29.39%, 41.36%, and 22.67%, respectively. Ascomycota (42.16%) is the dominant phylum in wasteland. Sordariomyetes of Ascomycota is the dominant class in wasteland and cultivated land. Mortierellomycetes and Glomeromycetes of Mucoromycota are the dominant class in vegetable land and woodland. The results of the Spearman analysis revealed that the dominant groups in the bacterial and fungal communities had significant correlations with soil pH, clay, and sand (p < 0.01). The RDA results showed that soil clay, pH, and moisture were the key environmental factors affecting the diversity of soil microbial communities. Fungal diversity is more affected by different land use patterns than bacteria. These results provided a theoretical basis for the changes in soil microbial community composition and diversity in river basins. Full article
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