Soil physicochemical properties impact more strongly on bacteria and fungi than conversion of grassland to oil palm

Wakelin, S.A., Gerard, E., van Koten, C., Banabas, M., O'Callaghan, M., and Nelson, P.N. (2016) Soil physicochemical properties impact more strongly on bacteria and fungi than conversion of grassland to oil palm. Pedobiologia, 59 (3). pp. 83-91.

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The conversion of grassland to oil palm is expected to increase throughout tropical regions where oil palm grows. Given the extent of land use change, there are concerns associated with impacts on ecosystem function and nutrient cycling. For this work, soil samples were collected in Papua New Guinea from 15 sites with oil palm (planted on grassland) and adjacent remnant grassland. Using DNA-based approaches, bacterial and fungal community composition was assessed in each sample, along with abundance of genes involved in key nitrogen cycling steps: nitrification (bacterial and archaeal amoA genes), nitrite reduction (nirS gene), and nitrous oxide reduction (nosZ gene). Across all microbial properties measured, variation among sites was greater than variation due to land use change. This was driven by among-site variation in soil physicochemical properties, particularly total soil organic carbon content and d13C, electrical conductivity, exchangeable calcium, potassium and magnesium content, and extractable phosphorus content. The results suggest that in this environment, routinely measured soil properties such as soil pH, organic carbon, and exchangeable cation contents may serve as indicators for the effects of land use and management on soil microbial community composition and functioning.

Item ID: 43360
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1511
Keywords: nitrogen cycle genes, soil microbial community, soil organic matter, bacteria, fungi, Papua New Guinea
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Projects and Grants: SMCN-2009-013
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 04:48
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4106 Soil sciences > 410603 Soil biology @ 60%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310703 Microbial ecology @ 20%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300402 Agro-ecosystem function and prediction @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils @ 30%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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