Negative impacts of excessive nitrogen fertilization on the abundance and diversity of diazotrophs in black soil with monocropping maize
Background: Excessive nitrogen fertilizer input and low nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency in maize in China are serious ecological and economic problems, which might affect the procedures in the nitrogen cycle. To reveal the effects of long-term excessive nitrogen fertilization on diazotrophs in maize rhizosphere and bulk soil, we performed a long-term (five-year) N-input experiment (N rates from 0 to 300 kg N ha -1 ) in black soil maize in northeast China. The effect of N fertilizer
... ertilizer application rates on the abundance, structure and compositions of diazotrophic community in both the bulk soil and rhizosphere of maize were investigated by Real-time quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing, and a structural equation model was constructed based on this study.Results: 1) Excessive N fertilization significantly reduced the abundance and diversity of diazotrophs. 2) The accumulation of Sphingobium was correlated positively with soil nitrate concentration and soil EC, and negatively with soil pH. The contrast correlation was found in Burkholderia . 3) Diazotrophs were enriched in maize rhizosphere, but the diversity and compositions of diazotrophic community were less affected by maize rhizosphere effect. 4) The enriched Bradyrhizobium and Methylobacterium in maize rhizosphere showed a significant positive correlation with of maize plant biomass. Conclusions: Our results suggest that through affecting soil pH, nitrate and EC values, long-term excessive N input increase Sphingobium accumulation and reduce the abundance of beneficial diazotrophs such as Bradyrhizobium and Burkholderia ,which contribute to the decreased nitrogen use efficiency.