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Can phosphorus and nitrogen addition affect ammonia oxidizers in a high-phosphorus agricultural soil?

Liu, Xing, Zhang, Ying
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2018 v.64 no.12 pp. 1728-1743
Archaea, agricultural soils, ammonia, bacteria, community structure, ecological function, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, nitrites, nitrogen, oxidants, phosphorus, phosphorus pentoxide, prediction, quantitative polymerase chain reaction
Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), which convert NH₃ to NO₂⁻ in soils, are important for agricultural production. It is well known that N addition can strongly affect soil ammonia oxidizers, but little is known about P addition. Based on microcosm experiments, this study assessed the responses of ammonia oxidizers to chemical P addition in a typically high P agricultural soil with or without N supply. Six treatments examined were neither N nor P, P alone (0.15, 0.45, and 0.75 g P₂O₅ kg⁻¹ soil, respectively), N alone (0.25 g N kg⁻¹ soil), and N plus P (0.25 g N and 0.15 g P₂O₅ kg⁻¹ soil). Quantitative real-time PCR for the abundance and high-throughput sequencing for community structure were applied. The results revealed that P addition did not affect the abundances and community structures of AOA and AOB, but N addition significantly increased AOB abundance and alter its community structure. Without N supply, continuously increasing soil P availability did not affect these two groups of ammonia oxidizers. This study highlights the relationship between soil P availability and ammonia oxidizers and suggests that soil P availability could be as a potential indicator for predicting N-related ecosystem functions in agricultural production.