Microbial Community

Agroecosystems make up a significant portion of terrestrial ecosystems and receive a disproportionally high amount of terrestrial nitrogen inputs from fertilizer, leading to nitrogen loss and associated environmental problems. Integrated crop livestock systems, such as pasture-integrated crop rotations, may be more environmentally sustainable however the long-term effects of this management practice on soil microorganisms and nitrogen transformations are not well understood.
The biochemical effects of trees may significantly influence local pedogenesis as well as pedocomplexity, biodiversity and forest dynamics on both stand and landscape scales. One such effect is the decay of tree trunks, which is driven by organisms, and especially by the microbiome. Decomposition modifies soil formation, which due to the existence of many feedbacks affects the composition of the decomposer community.
Non-target effects of deliberately released organisms into a new environment are of great concern due to their potential impact on the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems. Whereas these studies often focus on invasive species of macro-organisms, the use of microbial inoculants is often expected to have specific effects on particular functions but negligible overall effects on resident microbial communities. Here, we posit that such introductions often impact native microbial communities, which might influence ecosystem processes.
Although the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization on soil microflora have been well studied, the effects should be verified across soil types and N-added levels. To understand the impacts of N fertilization on shifts in soil biological traits and bacterial communities and to further explore the coupling mediation of these parameters with respect to crop yields, we sampled soils from three experimental sites (each site received three levels of N fertilization (0, 168 and 312 kg N ha−1)) that share the same climatic conditions but have different soil types (clay, alluvial and sandy soils).
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are crucial in the functioning of most forest ecosystems. Increased understanding of ECM symbiosis has led to numerous advancements in environment protection and forestry. The ECM fungi are a diverse group, both phylogenetically and functionally. Research covering their community structure on distinct sites shows that the presence of certain taxa depends on particular stand traits, such as tree species and age structure.
As emerging contaminants, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have become a public concern. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and diversity of ARGs, and variation in the composition of bacterial communities in source water, drinking water treatment plants, and tap water in the Pearl River Delta region, South China. Various ARGs were present in the different types of water. Among the 27 target ARGs, floR and sul1 dominated in source water from three large rivers in the region.
Climate change is modifying global biogeochemical cycles. Microbial communities play an integral role in soil biogeochemical cycles; knowledge about microbial composition helps provide a mechanistic understanding of these ecosystem-level phenomena. Next generation sequencing approaches were used to investigate changes in microbial functional groups during ecosystem development, in response to climate change, in northern boreal wetlands.
The past decade has witnessed a burst of study regarding antibiotic resistance in the environment, mainly in areas under anthropogenic influence. Therefore, impacts of the contaminant resistome, that is, those related to human activities, are now recognized. However, a key issue refers to the risk of transmission of resistance to humans, for which a quantitative model is urgently needed. This opinion paper makes an overview of some risk-determinant variables and raises questions regarding research needs.