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Abundance and community structure of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in a temperate forest ecosystem under ten-years elevated CO₂

Long, Xien, Chen, Chengrong, Xu, Zhihong, Oren, Ram, He, Ji-Zheng
Soil biology & biochemistry 2012 v.46 pp. 163-171
Archaea, ammonia, analysis of variance, bacteria, biogeochemical cycles, carbon dioxide, clones, community structure, forest ecosystems, genes, genotype, global change, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, polymerase chain reaction, restriction fragment length polymorphism, soil pH, temperate forests, North Carolina
Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) are considered as the key drivers of global nitrogen (N) biogeochemical cycling. Responses of the associated microorganisms to global changes remain unclear. This study was to determine if there was a shift in soil AOB and AOA abundances and community structures under free-air carbon dioxide (CO₂) enrichment (FACE) and N fertilization in Duke Forest of North Carolina, by using DNA-based molecular techniques, i.e., quantitative PCR, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and clone library. The N fertilization alone increased the abundance of bacterial amoA gene, but this effect was not observed under elevated CO₂ condition. There was no significant effect of the N fertilization on the thaumarchaeal amoA gene abundance in the ambient CO₂ treatments, while such effect increased significantly under elevated CO₂. A total of 690 positive clones for AOA and 607 for AOB were selected for RFLP analysis. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that effects of CO₂ enrichment and N fertilization on the community structure of AOA and AOB were not significant. Canonical correspondence analysis also showed that soil pH rather than elevated CO₂ or N fertilization shaped the distribution of AOB and AOA genotypes. A negative linear relationship between the δ¹³C and archaeal amoA gene abundance indicated a positive effect of elevated CO₂ on the growth ammonia oxidizing archaea. On the other hand, the community structures of AOB and AOA are determined by the soil niche properties rather than elevated CO₂ and N fertilization.