Set-aside farmland can effectively improve the self-rehabilitation of arable soil. Long-term set-asides however cannot satisfy provisionment, therefore the use of short-term set-asides to restore cultivated soil is a better option. Few studies have compared short-term set-aside patterns, and the effects of set-asides on soil microbial community and enzyme enzymes. We analyzed the bacterial structure, microbial biomass carbon/nitrogen and enzyme activity of farmland soil under different set-aside regimes in the Yellow River Delta of China. Bacterial alpha diversity was relatively lower under only irrigation, and farmyard manure applications showed clear advantages. Set-asides should consider their influence on soil organic carbon and nitrogen, which were correlated with microbial community structure. Nitrospira
(0.47–1.67%), Acidobacteria Gp6
(8.26–15.91%) and unclassified Burkholderiales (1.50–2.81%) were significantly altered (p
< 0.01). Based on functions of these genera, some set-aside patterns led to a relative balance in nitrogen and carbon turnover. Partial treatments showed a deficiency in organic matter. In addition, farmyard manure may lead to the increased consumption of organic matter, with the exception of native plants set-asides. Conventional farming (control group) displayed a significant enzyme activity advantage. Set-aside management practices guided soil microbial communities to different states. Integrated soil microbiota and the content of carbon and nitrogen, native plants with farmyard manure showed an equilibrium state relatively, which would be helpful to improve land quality in the short-term.
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