Impacts of nitrogen application rates on the activity and diversity of denitrifying bacteria in the Broadbalk Wheat Experiment

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Clark, I. M., Buchkina, N., Jhurreea, D., Goulding, K. W. T. and Hirsch, P. R. 2012. Impacts of nitrogen application rates on the activity and diversity of denitrifying bacteria in the Broadbalk Wheat Experiment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 367, pp. 1235-1244.

AuthorsClark, I. M., Buchkina, N., Jhurreea, D., Goulding, K. W. T. and Hirsch, P. R.
Abstract

Bacterial denitrification results in the loss of fertilizer nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions as nitrous oxides, but ecological factors in soil influencing denitrifier communities are not well understood, impeding the potential for mitigation by land management. Communities vary in the relative abundance of the alternative dissimilatory nitrite reductase genes nirK and nirS, and the nitrous oxide reductase gene nosZ; however, the significance for nitrous oxide emissions is unclear. We assessed the influence of different long-term fertilization and cultivation treatments in a 160-year-old field experiment, comparing the potential for denitrification by soil samples with the size and diversity of their denitrifier communities. Denitrification potential was much higher in soil from an area left to develop from arable into woodland than from a farmyard manure-fertilized arable treatment, which in turn was significantly higher than inorganic nitrogen-fertilized and unfertilized arable plots. This correlated with abundance of nirK but not nirS, the least abundant of the genes tested in all soils, showing an inverse relationship with nirK. Most genetic variation was seen in nirK, where sequences resolved into separate groups according to soil treatment. We conclude that bacteria containing nirK are most probably responsible for the increased denitrification potential associated with nitrogen and organic carbon in this soil.

Year of Publication2012
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
Journal citation367, pp. 1235-1244
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0314
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeSEF
The Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments including Sample Archive and e-RA database [2012-2017]
Soil microbial community function and diversity
Linking function to process: developing methods to explore the link between microbial function and biogeochemical cycling in soils
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 May 2012
PublisherRoyal Society Publishing
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN0962-8436

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