Bacterial indicator taxa in soils under different long-term agricultural management. uri icon


  • AimsIn this study, the species indicator test was used to identify key bacterial taxa affected by changes in the soil environment as a result of conservation agriculture or conventional practices.
  • ConclusionsN-fertilizer application rates affected N-cycling taxa. Tillage affected Actinobacteria members and organic matter decomposers. Although the same crop residue was retained in the field, organic material management was important for specific taxa.
  • Methods and ResultsSoils cultivated with wheat (Triticum spp. L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) under different raised bed planting systems for 20years, that is, varying crop residue and fertilizer management, were used. Taxonomic- and divergence-based 16S-metagenomics, and IndVal analysis were used to study the bacterial communities and identify indicator taxa (genus and OTU97) affected by agricultural practices. Although, some phyla were affected significantly by different treatments, the taxonomic assemblages at phylum level were similar. Bacterial taxa related to different processes of the N-cycle were indicators of different fertilization rates, for example, Azorhizobium, Nostoc and Nitrosomonas. A large number of OTU97 were indicators for conventionally tilled beds and their distribution was defined by soil organic carbon. IndVal analysis identified different taxa in each of the residue management systems. This suggests that although the same organic material remains in the field, crop residue management affects specific taxa. The taxa indicator of the burned residues belonged mainly to the order SBR1031 (Anaerolineae, Chloroflexi), and the genera Bacillus and Alicyclobacillus.
  • Significance and Impact of the StudyIn this study, we report that agricultural practice affected soil bacterial communities. We also identified distinctive taxa and related their distribution to changes in the soil environment resulting from different agricultural practices.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016