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Volume 9, issue 5 | Copyright
Solid Earth, 9, 1157-1168, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-1157-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Oct 2018

Research article | 09 Oct 2018

Influence of slope aspect on the microbial properties of rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soils on the Loess Plateau, China

Ze Min Ai1,2,3,4, Jiao Yang Zhang1,3,4, Hong Fei Liu5, Sha Xue1,3, and Guo Bin Liu1,3 Ze Min Ai et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, People's Republic of China
  • 2College of Geomatics, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710054, People's Republic of China
  • 3Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, People's Republic of China
  • 4University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People's Republic of China
  • 5College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, People's Republic of China

Abstract. Slope aspect is an important topographic factor in the micro-ecosystem environment, but its effect on the microbial properties of grassland rhizospheric soil (RS) and non-rhizospheric soil (NRS) remain unclear. A field experiment was conducted at the Ansai Research Station on the Loess Plateau in China to test the influence of slope aspects (south-facing, north-facing, and northwest-facing slopes, all with Artemisia sacrorum as the dominant species) on RS and NRS microbial biomass carbon (MBC) contents, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) contents, and the rhizospheric effect (RE) of various microbial indices. Soil samples were collected from the three slope aspects, including rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric region, and analyzed to determine the various related microbial indices. The results showed that MBC content differed significantly among the slope aspects in RS but not in NRS, and the RE for MBC content in the south-facing slope was larger than that in the north-facing slope. RS total, bacterial, and Gram-positive bacterial PLFA contents in the south-facing slope were significantly lower than those in the north- and northwest-facing slopes, and RS Gram-negative bacterial (G) and actinomycete PLFA contents in the south-facing slope were significantly lower than those in the north-facing slope. In contrast, NRS total, bacterial, and G PLFA contents in the north-facing slope were significantly higher than those in the south- and northwest-facing slopes, and NRS fungal and actinomycete PLFA contents in the north- and south-facing slopes were significantly higher than those in the northwest-facing slope. RE for all PLFA contents except fungal in the northwest-facing slope were higher than those in the south-facing slope. Slope aspect significantly but differentially affected the microbial properties in RS and NRS, and the variable influence was due to an evident RE for most microbial properties.

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Slope aspect significantly but differently affected the soil microbial biomass carbon and phospholipid fatty acid contents. Soil carbon and nitrogen have the largest effect on the soil microbial properties. The rhizospheric effect caused significant difference between rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soil microbial properties. Slope aspect affected the mechanisms driving the structure of microbial communities in a micro-ecosystem environment.
Slope aspect significantly but differently affected the soil microbial biomass carbon and...
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