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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Linking Microbial Decomposition to Dissolved Organic Matter Composition in the Revegetation of the Red Soil Erosion Area

Chen, Wenxin; Hu, Huaying; Heal, Kate; Sohi, Saran; Tigabu, Mulualem; Qiu, Weijuan; Zhou, Chuifan


Studying the changes and linkages between dissolved organic matter (DOM) and microorganisms in soils during vegetation restoration will help to understand the role of vegetation restoration in soil carbon sequestration and thus improve the understanding of the global soil carbon cycle. Soil DOM molecules were characterized by Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) and the results showed that the soil DOM consisted mainly of lignin/carboxylic rich alicyclic molecule (CRAM)-like structures, while the ratios of lipids and aliphatic/protein decreased in sequence with recovery time. Lipids and aliphatic/proteins with high H/C DOM (labile DOM) degrade preferentially, while lignin/CRAM-like structures and tannins with low H/C DOM (recalcitrant DOM) are recalcitrant during vegetation restoration. With the restoration of vegetation, DOM molecules tend to be diversified and complicated, and DOM compounds with low double bond equivalent (DBE), low aromatic, and low alkyl structures will be converted into persistent organic matter with high carbon numbers and high DBE. The diversity of soil microorganisms was determined by high-throughput sequencing. The results showed that the abundance and diversity of soil bacteria increased significantly after revegetation, while the abundance and diversity of soil fungi began to increase when the ecosystem became a more mature coniferous forest. The soil microbial community exhibited complex connectivity and strong interaction with DOM molecules during vegetation restoration. As most of the DOM molecules are recalcitrant, vegetation restoration facilitates C sequestration in the soil, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation.


soil dissolved organic matter; bacteria; fungi; vegetation restoration

Published in

2023, Volume: 14, number: 2, article number: 270Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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