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Agronomy 2016, 6(1), 17; doi:10.3390/agronomy6010017

Temporal Dynamics in Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities of Three Perennial Grassland Species

1
Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science, 615 McCallie Ave., Dept. 2653, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Kansas Biological Survey, 142 Higuchi Hall, 2101 Constant Ave., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047, USA
3
Department of Mathematics, 615 McCallie Ave., Dept. 6956, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Leslie A. Weston and Xiaocheng Zhu
Received: 20 November 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Plant Rhizosphere and Soil Organisms)
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Abstract

Rhizodeposition is considered a primary reason for the plant identity effect. However, the detection of distinct rhizosphere bacterial communities (RBC) with different plant species has been variable. The aim of this study was to examine the potential explanations for this variability using three perennial grassland species. In a Kansas field experiment, over two growing seasons, we sampled RBC during the active growth and flowering stages of Agrostis gigantea, Andropogon gerardii and Helianthus maximiliani to: (1) determine the extent of the plant identity effect among these species and if the effect was maintained over time; (2) assess if RBC showed seasonal patterns, corresponding to plant phenology; and (3) examine if soil properties were important for structuring these communities. We found that Helianthus RBC were distinct from those of Agrostis and Andropogon only when Helianthus was flowering. Further, Helianthus RBC exhibited seasonal shifts corresponding to plant phenology. In contrast, Agrostis and Andropogon RBC were similar over time and exhibited gradual non-seasonal changes in compositions. Similar results were observed when accounting for soil properties. Overall, the observance of a plant identity effect depended on the plant species and when RBC were sampled. The seasonality of RBC also depended on the plant species examined. View Full-Text
Keywords: edaphic soil properties; plant functional groups; plant identity effects; plant-soil (belowground) interactions; plant phenology; soil bacteria; tallgrass prairie edaphic soil properties; plant functional groups; plant identity effects; plant-soil (belowground) interactions; plant phenology; soil bacteria; tallgrass prairie
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Murphy, C.A.; Foster, B.L.; Gao, C. Temporal Dynamics in Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities of Three Perennial Grassland Species. Agronomy 2016, 6, 17.

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