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Tight coupling of soil quality with fungal community composition in a Chinese fir plantation chronosequence
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  • Liang Chen,
  • Wenhua Xiang,
  • Shuai Ouyang,
  • Huili Wu,
  • Qi Xia,
  • Jiani Ma,
  • Yelin Zeng,
  • Pifeng Lei,
  • wenfa xiao,
  • Shenggong Li,
  • Yakov Kuzyakov
Liang Chen
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Wenhua Xiang
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Shuai Ouyang
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Huili Wu
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Qi Xia
Central South University of Forestry and Technology Changsha Campus
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Jiani Ma
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Yelin Zeng
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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Pifeng Lei
Central South University of Forestry and Technology
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wenfa xiao
Chinese Academy of Forestry
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Shenggong Li
Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research , Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Yakov Kuzyakov
Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science. Russian Academy of Sciences
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Abstract

How soil quality and microbial communities change in conjunction with stand age in plantations is poorly understood. Here, we evaluated soil quality by using an integrated soil quality index (SQI) and traced the paralleled shifts in fungal community composition by high-throughput sequencing in a chronosequence of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations (stand age of 3, 16, 25, 32, >80 years). Soil properties showed pronounced changes with stand age in the top 0-5 cm. The most prominent increase from 3 to >80-year-old stand was for soil organic carbon (SOC, by 2.1-times), total nitrogen (TN, 1.9-times) and available phosphorus (AP, 2.2-times). SQI increased logarithmically with stand age, with sharper change seen in the 0-5 cm layer than in the 5-15 cm layer. Mycorrhizal fungi increased in abundance initially in younger stands, but then they were gradually replaced by saprotrophic fungi in older stands due to the increase in litter input, which sustains saprotrophs. The positive correlation between saprotrophic fungi and the key soil quality indicators, such as TN, AP and NH4+, showed that higher soil quality was tightly linked with the enrichment of decomposers. Mycorrhizal taxa, such as orders Sebacinales, Thelephorales and Russulales, were positively correlated with acid phosphatase mobilizing P from organic matter. This suggests that the establishment of mycorrhizal fungi sustains tree productivity in younger stands under low soil quality. We conclude that the increase in soil quality throughout the development of Chinese fir plantations is closely linked with the observed transition of fungal communities from mycorrhizae to saprotrophs.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

06 Apr 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
08 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
08 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
09 Apr 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Apr 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Apr 20201st Revision Received
22 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
22 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
05 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
09 Jun 20202nd Revision Received
09 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
09 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
28 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Aug 20203rd Revision Received
04 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
16 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
08 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
09 Sep 20204th Revision Received
09 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
09 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
10 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Accept