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AMB Express. 2017 Nov 7;7(1):198. doi: 10.1186/s13568-017-0498-7.

Effects of combined application of nitrogen fertilizer and biochar on the nitrification and ammonia oxidizers in an intensive vegetable soil.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Subtropical Soil Science and Plant Nutrition of Zhejiang Province, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China.
2
Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361021, China.
3
Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Nanjing, 210042, China.
4
Zhejiang Agricultural Technology Extension Center, Hangzhou, 310020, China.
5
Department of Applied Engineering, Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic, Hangzhou, 310018, China.
6
MOE Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China.
7
Key Laboratory of Subtropical Soil Science and Plant Nutrition of Zhejiang Province, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China. xylin@zju.edu.cn.
8
MOE Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China. xylin@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

Soil amended with single biochar or nitrogen (N) fertilizer has frequently been reported to alter soil nitrification process due to its impact on soil properties. However, little is known about the dynamic response of nitrification and ammonia-oxidizers to the combined application of biochar and N fertilizer in intensive vegetable soil. In this study, an incubation experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of biochar and N fertilizer application on soil nitrification, abundance and community shifts of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) in Hangzhou greenhouse vegetable soil. Results showed that single application of biochar had no significant effect on soil net nitrification rates and ammonia-oxidizers. Conversely, the application of only N fertilizer and N fertilizer + biochar significantly increased net nitrification rate and the abundance of AOB rather than AOA, and only AOB abundance was significantly correlated with soil net nitrification rate. Moreover, the combined application of N fertilizer and biochar had greater effect on AOB communities than that of the only N fertilizers, and the relative abundance of 156 bp T-RF (Nitrosospira cluster 3c) decreased but 60 bp T-RF (Nitrosospira cluster 3a and cluster 0) increased to become a single predominant group. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the AOB sequences were grouped into Nitrosospira cluster, and most of AOA sequences were clustered within group 1.1b. We concluded that soil nitrification was stimulated by the combined application of N fertilizer and biochar via enhancing the abundance and shifting the community composition of AOB rather than AOA in intensive vegetable soil.

KEYWORDS:

Ammonia-oxidizing community; Biochar; Nitrification; Vegetable soil

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