Yield of the perennial grass Miscanthus × giganteus has shown an inconsistent and unpredictable response to nitrogen (N) fertilizer, yet fertilization underpins the crop’s environmental and economic sustainability. The interactions among soil microbial communities, N availability, and M. × giganteus and management may explain changes in plant productivity. In this study, soil samples from different stand ages of M. × giganteus in a replicated chronosequence field trial were used to investigate the effects of stand age and N fertilizer rates on microbial community structure. We hypothesized that there is a definable M. × giganteus soil microbiome and that this community varies significantly with stand age and fertilization. Our results showed that the main phyla in soil microbial communities, regardless of plant age, are similar but microbial community structures are significantly different. The variation in observed microbial communities generally decreases in older stand ages. The amount of N fertilizer applied also affected the microbial community structure associated with different aged M. × giganteus. Specifically, the relative abundance of Proteobacteria (Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and Acidobacteria (Subgroup Gp1) increased shortly after fertilization and were more associated with younger M. × giganteus. Further, our results show a significant relationship between bacterial alpha diversity and fertilization rates and that this response is also impacted by stand age. Overall, our results emphasize linkages between microbial community structure, plant age, and fertilization in M. × giganteus.
Advancing extensive cattle production shifts the forest landscape and is considered one of the main drivers against biodiversity conservation in the Brazilian Amazonia. Considering soil as an ecosystem it becomes vital to identify the effects of land-use changes on soil microbial communities, structure, as well as its ecological functions and services. Herein, we explored relationships between land-use, soil types and forest floor (i.e., association between litter, root layer and bulk soil) on the prokaryotic metacommunity structuring in the Western Amazonia. Sites under high anthropogenic pressure were evaluated along a gradient of ± 800 km. Prokaryotic metacommunity are synergistically affected by soil types and land-use systems. Especially, the gradient of soil fertility and land-use shapes the structuring of the metacommunity and determines its composition. Forest-to-pasture conversion increases alpha, beta, and gamma diversities when considering only the prokaryotes from the bulk soil. Beta diversity was significantly higher in all forests when the litter and root layer were taken into account with the bulk soil. Our argumentation is that the forest floor harbors a prokaryotic metacommunity that adds at the regional scale of diversity a spatial turnover hitherto underestimated. Our findings highlight the risks of biodiversity loss and, consequently, the soil microbial diversity maintenance in tropical forests.
Advancing extensive cattle production is a major threat to biodiversity conservation in Amazonia. The dominant vegetation cover has a drastic impact on soil microbial communities, affecting their composition, structure, and ecological services. Herein, we explored relationships between land-use, soil types, and forest floor compartments on the prokaryotic metacommunity structuring in Western Amazonia. Soil samples were taken in sites under high anthropogenic pressure and distributed along a ±800 km gradient. Additionally, the litter and a root layer, characteristic of the forest environment, were sampled. DNA was extracted, and metacommunity composition and structure were assessed through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Prokaryotic metacommunities in the bulk soil were strongly affected by pH, base and aluminum saturation, Ca + Mg concentration, the sum of bases, and silt percentage, due to land-use management and natural differences among the soil types. Higher alpha, beta, and gamma diversities were observed in sites with higher soil pH and fertility, such as pasture soils or fertile soils of the state of Acre. When taking litter and root layer communities into account, the beta diversity was significantly higher in the forest floor than in pasture bulk soil for all study regions. Our results show that the forest floor’s prokaryotic metacommunity performs a spatial turnover hitherto underestimated to the regional scale of diversity.
This study investigated the contribution of soil organic layers to bacterial diversity evaluations. We used a forest in the eastern Amazon and an adjacent pasture as model systems. Distinct organic and organo-mineral layers were identified in the forest and pasture floors, including the litter, partially and wholly decomposed organic material, and the mineral and rhizospheric soils. DNA was extracted, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing and qPCR were performed to assess bacterial community structure and the abundance of critical groups of the N cycle. We observed a clear vertical gradient in bacterial community composition. Species followed a log-normal distribution, with the highest richness and diversity observed in transitional organic layers of both land uses. Generally, critical groups of the N cycle were more abundant in these transitional layers, especially in the pasture’s fragmented litter and in the forest’s partially decomposed organic material. Considering the organic layers increased diversity estimates significantly, with the highest alpha and gamma bacterial diversity observed on the pasture floor and the highest beta diversity on the forest floor. The results show that organic layers harbor significant bacterial diversity in natural and anthropized systems and suggest that they can be crucial for maintaining the N cycle in these ecosystems, highlighting the need to consider them when studying soil bacterial diversity.
Neste trabalho, foi avaliado o potencial das plantas alimentícias não convencionais (PANC) no fornecimento de recursos para as abelhas e seu uso na intensificação ecológica. O Assentamento São José da Boa Morte (Cachoeiras de Macacu, Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) foi tomado como estudo de caso, onde foi realizado os levantamentos das PANC espontâneas e do calendário de cultivo da comunidade. Foram encontradas 28 espécies de PANC, de 17 famílias, com grande potencial para a disponibilização de recursos e a conservação da comunidade de abelhas. O calendário produtivo, composto de 13 cultivos, que apresentam desequilíbrio na oferta recursos ao longo do ano. As espécies Bidens pilosa, Urena lobata, Emilia sonchifolia e Cajanus cajan se apresentam com maior potencial para a intensificação ecológica no Assentamento São José da Boa Morte em função da oferta de recursos e vasta rede de interações.
Competition for resources between crops and weeds hinders the increase of production in agroecosystems. The trait-based plant species selection of cover crops can be a useful tool to suppress competing plants in addition to providing environmental services. Here, we assessed the growth and macronutrient accumulation metrics in Diodia saponariifolia (Rubiaceae) plants, a native cover crop found in family farming systems in southeastern Brazil. Under greenhouse conditions, three viable D. saponariifolia cuttings were planted per tray. The experimental design was entirely randomized, with treatments consisting of plant sampling times, at regular intervals of 7 days between 16 and 93 days after transplanting (DAT) and 15 days between 93 and 138 DAT. Based on dry mass and chemical analysis of leaves, stems, and roots; we fitted the logistic model to explore the metrics of growth and macronutrient accumulation. Overall, the increment in plant dry mass was slow about halfway through
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