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Environ Microbiol. 2006 Nov;8(11):1889-901.

Does disturbance and restoration of alpine grassland soils affect the genetic structure and diversity of bacterial and N2-fixing populations?

Author information

1
Institut Méditerranéen d'Ecologie et de Paléoécologie (UMR CNRS 6116), Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de St Jérôme, Université Paul Cézanne, Avenue Escadrille Normandie-Niemen, 13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France. raphael.gros@univ-cezanne.fr

Abstract

Responses of bacterial communities to disturbance and restoration processes were investigated on alpine grassland soil. Bulk soil, rhizosphere soil and two soil separates, i.e. sand-size (2000-200 microm) and silt-size (50-2 microm) were sampled from undisturbed grassland soil to soil under restoration for 1 month, 1 year, 4 years and 13 years after disturbance. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of nifH gene pools were used to assay genetic structure of the bacterial communities and N2-fixing guild. According to the distribution of ARISA band length in bacterial phyla, the dominance of ARISA bands below 400 bp showed that Gram-positive bacteria would be predominant in the studied grassland soil when not disturbed. Disturbance affected the genetic structure of bacterial community and of N2-fixing guild in relation to their location within the selected habitats. Shifts in IGS and nifH profiles of bulk soil metagenome were larger than those observed from sand-size- and silt-size-fractions, accounting for 40-50% of the variance in the profiles. Restoration of the genetic structure of telluric bacteria community and N2-fixing populations was found to be influenced by the spatial heterogeneity of the soil and niche diversification. Particular bacterial genetic structure within distinct habitats were evidenced and must be defined as subdivisions of the meta-community of bulk soil. Scale of soil microbial diversity/stability relationships is discussed with special attention to disconnected bacterial habitat compared with whole soil with multiple niches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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