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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-137
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 Jan 2018

Research article | 02 Jan 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Influence of slope aspect on the microbial properties of rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soil on the Loess Plateau, China

Ze Min Ai1,2,3, Jiao Yang Zhang1,2,3, Hong Fei Liu4, Sha Xue1,2, and Guo Bin Liu1,2 Ze Min Ai et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, People’s Republic of China
  • 2Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences & Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, People’s Republic of China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People’s Republic of China
  • 4College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, People’s Republic of China

Abstract. Slope aspect is an important topographic factor, but its effect on the microbial properties of grassland rhizospheric soil (RS) and non-rhizospheric soil (NRS) remain unclear. A field experiment was conducted at the Ansai Research Station on the Loess Plateau in China to test the influence of slope aspects (south-facing, north-facing, and northeast-facing slopes, all with Artemisia sacrorum as the dominant species) on RS and NRS microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) contents, and the rhizospheric effect (RE) of various microbial indices. MBC content differed significantly among the slope aspects in RS but not in NRS, and RE for MBC content in the south-facing slope was larger than that in the north-facing slope. RS total, bacterial, and gram-positive bacterial PLFA contents in the south-facing slope were significantly lower than those in the north- and northeast-facing slopes, and RS gram-negative bacterial (G-) and actinomycete PLFA contents in the south-facing slope were significantly lower than those in the north-facing slope. Differently, NRS total, bacterial, and G- PLFA contents in the north-facing slope were significantly higher than those in the south- and northeast-facing slopes, and NRS fungal and actinomycete PLFA contents in the north- and south-facing slopes were significantly higher than those in the northeast-facing slope. RE for all PLFA contents except fungal in the northeast-facing slope were higher than those in the south-facing slope. Slope aspect significantly but differentially affected the microbial properties in RS and NRS, and the variable influence was due an evident RE for most microbial properties.

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Short summary
Slope aspect significantly but differently affected the soil microbial biomass carbon and phospholipid fatty acid contents. Soil carbon and nitrogen have the largest effect on the soil microbial properties. The rhizospheric effect caused significant difference between rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soil microbial properties. Slope aspect affected the mechanisms driving the structure of microbial communities in a micro-ecosystemic environment.
Slope aspect significantly but differently affected the soil microbial biomass carbon and...
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