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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, December 2014, Vol.79, pp.57-67
    Description: The study of interactions between minerals, organic matter (OM) and microorganisms is essential for the understanding of soil functions such as OM turnover. Here, we present an interdisciplinary approach using artificial soils to study the establishment of the microbial community and the formation of macro-aggregates as a function of the mineral composition by using artificial soils. The defined composition of a model system enables to directly relate the development of microbial communities and soil structure to the presence of specific constituents. Five different artificial soil compositions were produced with two types of clay minerals (illite, montmorillonite), metal oxides (ferrihydrite, boehmite) and charcoal incubated with sterile manure and a microbial community derived from a natural soil. We used the artificial soils to analyse the response of these model soil systems to additional sterile manure supply (after 562 days). The artificial soils were subjected to a prolonged incubation period of more than two years (842 days) in order to take temporally dynamic processes into account. In our model systems with varying mineralogy, we expected a changing microbial community composition and an effect on macro-aggregation after OM addition, as the input of fresh substrate will re-activate the artificial soils. The abundance and structure of 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragments amplified from total community DNA were studied by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), respectively. The formation of macro-aggregates (〉2 mm), the total organic carbon (OC) and nitrogen (N) contents, the OC and N contents in particle size fractions and the CO respiration were determined. The second manure input resulted in higher CO respiration rates, 16S rRNA gene and ITS copy numbers, indicating a stronger response of the microbial community in the matured soil-like system. The type of clay minerals was identified as the most important factor determining the composition of the bacterial communities established. The additional OM and longer incubation time led to a re-formation of macro-aggregates which was significantly higher when montmorillonite was present. Thus, the type of clay mineral was decisive for both microbial community composition as well as macro-aggregation, whereas the addition of other components had a minor effect. Even though different bacterial communities were established depending on the artificial soil composition, the amount and quality of the OM did not show significant differences supporting the concept of functional redundancy.
    Keywords: Dgge ; Illite ; Montmorillonite ; Decomposition ; Respiration ; Soil Formation ; 16s Rrna Gene ; Its Fragment ; Agriculture ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0038-0717
    E-ISSN: 1879-3428
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  • 2
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(9)
    Description: The fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil is determined by a suite of biotic and abiotic factors, and disentangling their role in the complex soil interaction network remains challenging. Here, we investigate the influence of soil composition on the microbial community structure and its response to the spiked model PAH compound phenanthrene and plant litter. We used long-term matured artificial soils differing in type of clay mineral (illite, montmorillonite) and presence of charcoal or ferrihydrite. The soils received an identical soil microbial fraction and were incubated for more than two years with two sterile manure additions. The matured artificial soils and a natural soil were subjected to the following spiking treatments: (I) phenanthrene, (II) litter, (III) litter + phenanthrene, (IV) unspiked control. Total community DNA was extracted from soil sampled on the day of spiking, 7, 21, and 63 days after spiking. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal internal transcribed spacer amplicons were quantified by qPCR and subjected to denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). DGGE analysis revealed that the bacterial community composition, which was strongly shaped by clay minerals after more than two years of incubation, changed in response to spiked phenanthrene and added litter. DGGE and qPCR showed that soil composition significantly influenced the microbial response to spiking. While fungal communities responded only in presence of litter to phenanthrene spiking, the response of the bacterial communities to phenanthrene was less pronounced when litter was present. Interestingly, microbial communities in all artificial soils were more strongly affected by spiking than in the natural soil, which might indicate the importance of higher microbial diversity to compensate perturbations. This study showed the influence of soil composition on the microbiota and their response to phenanthrene and litter, which may increase our understanding of complex interactions in soils for bioremediation applications.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology And Life Sciences ; Ecology And Environmental Sciences
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, 2017, Vol.53(1), pp.9-22
    Description: Our understanding of the interactions between minerals, organic matter, and microorganisms at so-called biogeochemical interfaces in soil is still hampered by the inherent complexity of these systems. Artificial soil maturation experiments can help to bridge a gap in complexity between simple abiotic sorption experiments and larger-scale field experiments. By controlling other soil-forming factors, the effect of a particular variable can be identified in a simplified system. Here, we review the findings of a series of artificial soil incubation experiments with the aim of revealing general trends and conclusions. The artificial soils were designed to determine the effect of mineral composition and charcoal presence on the development of abiotic and biotic soil properties during maturation. In particular, the development of soil aggregates, organic matter (OM) composition and turnover, sorption properties, and the establishment of microbial community composition and function were considered. The main objectives of the research were to determine (1) how surface properties and sorption of chemicals modify biogeochemical interfaces; (2) how much time is required to form aggregates from mixtures of pure minerals, OM, and a microbial inoculum; and (3) how the presence of different mineral and charcoal surfaces affects aggregation, OM turnover, and the development of microbial community composition.
    Keywords: Experimental pedology ; Soil organic matter ; Soil microbial ecology ; Secondary phyllosilicates ; Biogeochemical interfaces ; Interdisciplinary soil science
    ISSN: 0178-2762
    E-ISSN: 1432-0789
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