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Forests 2019, 10(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020122

Fine Root Biomass Mediates Soil Fauna Community in Response to Nitrogen Addition in Poplar Plantations (Populus deltoids) on the East Coast of China

1
College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210037, China
2
Co-Innovation Centre for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210037, China
3
Dongtai Forest Farm, Yancheng, Jiangsu 224200, China
4
Advanced Analysis and Testing Center, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210037, China
5
Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
6
Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 3 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Soil fauna is critical for maintaining ecosystem functioning, and its community could be significantly impacted by nitrogen (N) deposition. However, our knowledge of how soil-faunal community composition responds to N addition is still limited. In this study, we simulated N deposition (0, 50, 100, 150, and 300 kg N ha−1 year−1) to explore the effects of N addition on the total and the phytophagous soil fauna along the soil profile (0–10, 10–25, and 25–40 cm) in poplar plantations (Populus deltoids) on the east coast of China. Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) was dissolved in water and sprayed evenly under the canopy with a backpack sprayer to simulate N deposition. Our results showed that N addition either significantly increased or decreased the density (D) of both the total and the phytophagous soil fauna (Dtotal and Dp) at low or high N addition rates, respectively, indicating the existence of threshold effects over the range of N addition. However, N addition had no significant impacts on the number of groups (G) and diversity (H) of either the total or the phytophagous soil fauna (Gtotal, Gp and Htotal, Hp). With increasing soil depth, Dtotal, Dp, Gtotal, and Gp largely decreased, showing that the soil fauna have a propensity to aggregate at the soil surface. Htotal and Hp did not significantly vary along the soil profile. Importantly, the threshold effects of N addition on Dtotal and Dp increased from 50 and 100 to 150 kg N ha−1 year−1 along the soil profile. Fine root biomass was the dominant factor mediating variations in Dtotal and Dp. Our results suggested that N addition may drive changes in soil-faunal community composition by altering belowground food resources in poplar plantations. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil fauna; N addition; soil profile; community structure; food resources; poplar plantations soil fauna; N addition; soil profile; community structure; food resources; poplar plantations
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Bian, H.; Geng, Q.; Xiao, H.; Shen, C.; Li, Q.; Cheng, X.; Luo, Y.; Ruan, H.; Xu, X. Fine Root Biomass Mediates Soil Fauna Community in Response to Nitrogen Addition in Poplar Plantations (Populus deltoids) on the East Coast of China. Forests 2019, 10, 122.

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