Although numerous studies have been published on nitrogen (N) deposition, little is known about its impact on microbial communities in wetland forests. Here, we used simulated nitrogen deposition (SND) to analyze the importance of differences in soil microhabitats in promoting the diversity of soil bacteria and fungi. We compared various levels of SND (control (CK), low N (N30), medium N (N60), and high N (N90)) and found that these were associated with changes in soil microhabitats. Additionally, SND affected soil pH, clay and sand content of the soil, and specific surface area (SSA). Bacteria and fungi responded differently to increased SND levels. The alpha diversity of bacteria decreased with an increased SND level, while fungal abundance, diversity, and community evenness reached their maximum values at the N60 threshold. Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA), nonparametric multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA), and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) coupled with effect size measurements (LefSe) also confirmed that the bacterial composition was different at N90 compared to other levels of SND while that of fungi was different at N60. A higher discriminant level (LDA score ≥4) may be a valuable index of selecting indicator microbial clades sensitive to SND for wetland management. Further, an increased pH was associated with a greater abundance of bacteria and fungi. In addition, the volume contents of clay and SSA were negatively correlated with bacteria but fungi are associated with soil specific gravity (SSG). Overall, in a neutral soil pH environment, pH fluctuation is the main influencing factor in terms of bacterial and fungal abundance and diversity. The diversity of fungi is more dependent on the type and relative content of solid phase components in soil than that of bacteria, implying the presence of species-specific niches for bacteria and fungi. These results demonstrate that changes in SND can induce short-term microbial and microhabitat changes.
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