Lin L.A., Liu W.W., Zhang M.P., Lin X.L., Zhang Y.H. and Tian Y.. 2019. Microbial Ecology, 77(1): 124-135.
In the southernmost part of coast of China, two height forms of Spartina alterniflora, tall and short, have invaded Leizhou Peninsula within the last decade. However, the effect of different height forms of Spartina alterniflora on plant–microbe interaction has not been clarified. Here, the community structures of rhizosphere bacteria and the abundance of N- and S-cycling functional genes associated with selected S. alterniflora were investigated in the field and a common garden. The community structure of tall-form S. alterniflora was distinct from short-form S. alterniflora at OTU level in the field, even after transplantation into a common garden. The abundance of bacterial amoA, nirS, and nosZ in tall S. alterniflora was significantly greater than those in short S. alterniflora in the field; however, this difference disappeared in a 1-year common garden experiment. These results suggested that compared with the tall-form S. alterniflora, the rhizosphere of short-form S. alterniflora harbored fewer nitrification–denitrification related microorganisms, which might benefit from conserving N in an N limited habitat. Together, our results suggested that tall- and short-form S. alterniflora can host their specific rhizosphere microbial communities and had different strategies of N usage via selecting the composition of rhizosphere bacterial assemblages, which in turn might determine the growth and invasiveness of S. alterniflora in its introduced range.
Figure 1. Community bar plot at phylum level (a) and at order level (b). W_TR tall-form Spartina alterniflora rhizosphere sediment samples taken from the field conditions, W_SR shortform Spartina alterniflora rhizosphere sediment samples taken from the field conditions, C_TR tall-form Spartina alterniflora rhizosphere soil samples taken from the common garden with fertilizer addition, C_SR short-form Spartina alterniflora rhizosphere soil samples taken from the common garden with fertilizer addition.