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Title: Responses of the soil microbial community to nitrogen fertilizer regimes and historical exposure to extreme weather events: Flooding or prolonged-drought
Contributor(s): Nguyen, Linh T T (author); Osanai, Yui  (author)orcid ; Lai, Kaitao (author); Anderson, Ian C (author); Bange, Michael P (author); Tissue, David T (author); Singh, Brajesh K (author)
Publication Date: 2018-03
Early Online Version: 2018-01-05
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.12.016
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Abstract: Extreme weather events, including flooding and prolonged-drought, may establish long-lasting effects on soil biotic and abiotic properties, thus influencing ecosystem functions including primary productivity in subsequent years. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer addition often improves soil fertility, thereby potentially alleviating legacy effects on soil function and plant productivity. The soil microbial community plays a central role in mediating soil functioning; however, little is known about the legacy impacts of extreme weather events and N fertilizer addition on soil bacterial communities and the key processes involved in carbon (C) cycling. Here, the potential legacy effects of waterlogging, prolonged-drought and N fertilizer addition (0, 100, 200 and 300kgN/ha) on soil bacteria and microbial respiration were investigated. The abundance, diversity and composition of the bacterial community, and basal and induced-respiration rates, in a farming soil system were examined, using quantitative PCR, high-throughput DNA sequencing, and MicroResp™. Soils previously exposed to short-term waterlogging events and prolonged-drought (by air-drying for 4 months) were used in our study. Prolonged drought, but not waterlogging, had a strong legacy effect on the soil bacterial community and microbial respiration. The addition of N fertilizer up to 300kgN/ha could not fully counteract the legacy effects of prolonged-drought on soil bacteria. However, N addition did increase bacterial abundance and diversity, and inhibited soil microbial respiration. Significant correlations between microbial respiration and bacterial community structure were observed, but N addition weakened these relationships. Our results suggest that the resilience (rate of recovery) of soil bacterial communities and functions to prolonged-drought is limited in farming systems, and therefore, may take a long time to recover completely. Subsequently, this should be explicitly considered when developing adaptation strategies to alleviate the impacts of extreme weather events.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Grant Details: ARC/DP170104634
Source of Publication: Soil Biology & Biochemistry, v.118, p. 227-236
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0038-0717
Field of Research (FOR): 060504 Microbial Ecology
069902 Global Change Biology
070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts)
820301 Cotton
960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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