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Deciphering microbial mechanisms underlying soil organic carbon storage in a wheat-maize rotation system

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Liu,  Pengfei
Department-Independent Research Group Methanotrophic Bacteria, and Environmental Genomics/Transcriptomics, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Wegner,  Carl-Eric
Department-Independent Research Group Methanotrophic Bacteria, and Environmental Genomics/Transcriptomics, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Liesack,  Werner
Department-Independent Research Group Methanotrophic Bacteria, and Environmental Genomics/Transcriptomics, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wu, X., Liu, P., Wegner, C.-E., Luo, Y., Xiao, K.-Q., Cui, Z., et al. (2021). Deciphering microbial mechanisms underlying soil organic carbon storage in a wheat-maize rotation system. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 788: 147798. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147798.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-F349-4
Abstract
A link between microbial life history strategies and soil organic carbon storage in agroecosystems is presumed, but largely unexplored at the gene level. We aimed to elucidate whether and how differential organic material amendments (manure versus peat-vermiculite) affect, relative to sole chemical fertilizer application, the link between microbial life history strategies and soil organic carbon storage in a wheat-maize rotation field experiment. To achieve this goal, we combined bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and the assembly of genomes. Fertilizer treatments had a significantly greater effect on microbial community composition than aggregate size, with soil available phosphorus and potassium being the most important community-shaping factors. Limitation in labile carbon was linked to a K-selected oligotrophic life history strategy (Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria) under sole chemical fertilizer application; defined by a significant enrichment of genes involved in resource acquisition, polymer hydrolysis, and competition. By contrast, excess of labile carbon promoted an r-selected copiotrophic life history strategy (Cytophagales, Bacillales, Mortierellomycota) under manure treatment; defined by a significant enrichment of genes involved in cellular growth. A distinct life history strategy was not observed under peat-vermiculite treatment, but rather a mix of both K-selected (Acidobacteria) and r-selected (Actinobacteria, Mortierellomycota) microorganisms. Compared to sole chemical & nbsp;fertilizer application, soil organic carbon storage efficiency was significantly increased by 26.5% and 50.0% under manure and peat-vermiculite treatments, respectively. Taken together, our results highlight the importance of organic material amendments, but in particular a one-time peat-vermiculite application, to promote soil organic carbon storage as a potential management strategy for sustainable agriculture. (c) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.