Soil microbial diversity, community structure and denitrification in a temperate riparian zone
Authors: Martin T.L.; Trevors J.T.; Kaushik N.K.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 8, Number 8, August 1999 , pp. 1057-1078(22)
Nitrate (NO_3^−) removal in riparian zones bordering agricultural areas occurs via plant uptake, microbial immobilisation and bacterial denitrification. Denitrification is a desirable mechanism for removal because the bacterial conversion of NO_3^− to N gases permanently removes NO_3^− from the watershed. A field and laboratory study was conducted in riparian soils adjacent to Carroll Creek, Ontario, Canada, to assess the spatial distribution of denitrification relative to microbial community structure and microbial functional diversity. Soil samples were collected in March, June, and August 1997 at varying soil depths and distances from the stream. Denitrification measurements made using the acetylene block technique on intact soil cores were highly variable and did not show any trends with riparian zone location. Microbial community composition and functional diversity were determined using sole carbon source utilization (SCSU) on Biolog^® GN microplates. Substrate richness, evenness and diversity (Shannon index) were greatest within the riparian zone and may also have been influenced by a rhizosphere effect. A threshold relationship between denitrification and measures of microbial community structure implied minimum levels of richness, evenness and diversity were required for denitrification.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 1999-08-01