Indexed on: 12 Feb '21Published on: 12 Feb '21Published in: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
The conversion of arable land to grassland and/or forested land is a common strategy of restoration, because the development of plant communities can inhibit the erosion of soil, increase biodiversity and improve associated ecosystem services. The vertical profiles of microbial communities, however, have not been well characterized, and their variability after land conversion is not well understood. We assessed the effects of the conversion of arable land (AL) to grassland (GL) and forested land (FL) on bacterial communities as old as 29 years in 0-200 cm profiles of a Chinese Mollisol. The soil in AL has been a stable ecosystem, and changes in assembly of soil microbiomes tended to be larger in the topsoil. The soil properties and microbial biodiversity of arable land were larger following revegetation and reforestation. The conversion caused a more complex coupling among microbes, and negative interactions and average connectivity were stronger in the 0-20 cm layers in GL and in the 20-60 cm layers in FL. The land use dramatically influenced the assembly of the microbial communities more in GL than AL and FL. The bacterial diversity was an important component of soil multinutrient cycling in the profiles and that microbial functions were not as affected by changes in land use. The spatial variation of the microbiomes provided critical information on belowground soil ecology and the ability of the soil to provide crucial ecosystem services. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.