Plant and soil fungal but not soil bacterial communities are linked in long-term fertilized grassland.

N. Cassman, M.F.A. Leite, Y. Pan, M. De Hollander, J.A. van Veen, E.E. Kuramae

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Inorganic fertilization and mowing alter soil factors with subsequent effects–direct and indirect - on above- and below-ground communities. We explored direct and indirect effects of long-term fertilization (N, P, NPK, Liming) and twice yearly mowing on the plant, bacterial and fungal communities and soil factors. We analyzed co-variation using 16S and 18S rRNA genes surveys, and plant frequency and edaphic factors across treatments. The plant and fungal communities were distinct in the NPK and L treatments, while the bacterial communities and soil factors were distinct in the N and L treatments. Plant community diversity and evenness had low diversity in the NPK and high diversity in the liming treatment, while the diversity and evenness of the bacterial and fungal communities did not differ across treatments, except of higher diversity and evenness in the liming treatment for the bacteria. We found significant co-structures between communities based on plant and fungal comparisons but not between plant and bacterial nor bacterial and fungal comparisons. Our results suggested that the plant and fungal communities are more tightly linked than either community with the bacterial community in fertilized soils. We found co-varying plant, bacterial and fungal taxa in different treatments that may indicate ecological interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23680
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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