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Shifts in soil prokaryotic and microeukaryotic communities following a translocation of wet meadows to derelict land

Chmolowska, Dominika; Chronakova, Alica; Bahram, Mohammad; Zubek, Szymon; Tedersoo, Leho


Human exploitation of natural resources dictates the need for the sustainable use of lands already in use. To combine the conservation of meadows with land recycling, 13,000 m(2) of turf were translocated from a built-up area to an abandoned quarry. Three Molinion meadows were monitored for three seasons-before the translocation and for two years afterwards. The composition of the main groups of microorganisms-bacteria, archaea, fungi, microfauna, and unicellular algae-was examined to check the stability of soil ecosystem. After observing changes in the ratio of ammonia to nitrate in the translocated turf, the bacterial and archaeal ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA) copy numbers were quantified. Following the translocation, the alpha-diversity of prokaryotes and eukaryotes remained usually similar. The structure of the microbial communities has changed: relative abundance of Acidobacteria (Acidobacteriota) and Mortierellomycota increased, along with fungal saprotrophs, while several other phyla decreased. The number of bacterial amoA gene copies has risen 7-fold in two years. The slight acidification of the soil had an influence; however, the presumed turf aeration and moisture drop initially impacted the soil communities. In conclusion, turf block translocation preserves diversity. However, cutting turf for transportation followed by dryer conditions at the receptor location lead to a functional switch in microbial communities. Increased activities of ammonia oxidisers and saprotrophs proceeded to nitrification and humus degradation, which may indicate degradation of soil. When translocating wet meadows, it is crucial to ensure the hydrological regime at receptor sites to support long-term success.


AOA; AOB; habitat conservation; soil community changes; turf translocation

Published in

Land Degradation and Development
2023, Volume: 34, number: 3, pages: 885-898
Publisher: WILEY

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

    Publication identifier


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