Importance of fungi in a 63 years old long-term field experiment with 20 years of maize growthShahbaz, Muhammad; Thornton, Barry; Börjesson, Gunnar
Microbial diversity and their activity in the rhizosphere and bulk soil areas were measured in a long-term field trial (started in 1956), where maize has been grown for the last 20 years with and without N fertilisation. Various microbial groups and their substrate feeding strategies (i.e. demonstrating activities) were identified through phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis and their δ13C values. Microbial abundance (esp. fungi) remained unaffected by long-term N fertilisation. However, fungi dominated over bacteria with 2–3 times higher biomass in the rhizosphere than bulk soil. The δ13C of PLFAs showed that fungi had the highest values, particularly in fertilised rhizosphere areas, indicating that this was the most active group (than any other microbial group) for assimilation of maize rhizodeposits.
KeywordsC3/C4 vegetation; carbon isotopes; soil organic matter; PLFAs; soil microorganisms
Published inEuropean Journal of Soil Biology
2021, volume: 102, article number: 103264
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