Soil freeze-thaw cycles (FTCs) change soil physical, chemical, and biological properties, however information regarding their vertical variations in response to FTCs is limited. In this work, black soil (silty loam) packed soil columns were exposed to 8 FTCs, and soil properties were determined for each of vertical layer of soil columns. The results revealed that after FTCs treatment, moisture and electrical conductivity (EC) salinity tended to increase in upper soil layers. Increments of ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N) and nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N) in top layers (0–10cm) were greater than those in other layers, and increments of water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) and decrease of microbial biomass carbon (MBC) in middle layers (10–20cm) were greater than those in both ends. Overall, microbial community structure was mainly influenced by soil physical properties (moisture and EC) and chemical properties (pH and WSOC). For bacterial (archaeal) and fungal communities, soil physical properties, chemical properties and their interaction explained 79.73% and 82.66% of total variation, respectively. Our results provided insights into the vertical variation of soil properties caused by FTCs, and such variation had a major impact on the change of structure and composition of soil bacterial and fungal communities.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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