Elements Cycling and Plants’ Physiological Characteristics: A Soil–Plant–Atmosphere Continuum Perspective

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Diversity and Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 1105

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
Interests: soil greenhouse gas emissions; acid soil amelioration; biochar; biowaste management; plant invasions; litter decomposition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
Interests: biochemistry; forest cultivation; elemental cycle; microorganism; molecular biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The cycling of essential elements, such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as non-essential elements, including magnesium and calcium, is the foundation of life in natural ecosystems. These elements cycle through soil, plants, and the atmosphere, with each component playing a significant role. From the perspective of soil–plant–atmosphere interaction, the relationship between element cycling and plants’ physiological characteristics is of utmost importance, as both are indispensable and important aspects of plant ecosystems. The elemental cycle encompasses material exchange and energy flow among soil, plants, and the atmosphere, providing the essential material and energy foundation for ecosystems. Plant physiological characteristics reflect biochemical and physiological changes that occur during a plant’s growth, development, and adaptation to its environment. Their characteristics have a significant impact on element cycling, and different plant species have various characteristics in their absorption and utilization of elements. Leguminous plants, for example, fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil through symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Some plants possess a high affinity for certain elements in the soil. From the perspective of the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum, element cycling is closely related to plant physiological characteristics, in combination with microbial community activities, profoundly affecting the stability and productivity of ecosystems. Therefore, further understanding of the relationships between element cycling, microbial activities, and plants’ physiological characteristics can facilitate more effective environmental management and protect our ecosystems’ sustainability.

This Special Issue aims to collect the latest research findings on the theme of "Element cycling and plant physiological characteristics: from the perspective of soil-plant-atmosphere continuum". This Special Issue will focus on, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  1. The basic processes of element cycling in soil, and their interactions with plants’ physiological characteristics and atmosphere composition;
  2. The mechanisms of absorption, transportation, and utilization of soil elements by plants, especially with the help of microbial activities;
  3. The inter-relationships between element cycling and plants’ physiological characteristics during plant growth;
  4. The impact of climate change on element cycling and plants’ physiological characteristics in the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum;
  5. Research methods and techniques for the study of element cycling and plants’ physiological characteristics in the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum;
  6. Innovative ideas and methods for the research and practice of element cycling and plants’ physiological characteristics, including field investigations, experimental studies, and model simulations.

We encourage submissions that contribute to a better understanding of this important topic. The latest research findings may help to identify new paths toward sustainable development and a better future.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Prof. Dr. Ling Zhang
Dr. Zhi Li
Guest Editors

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  • element cycling
  • microbial communities
  • plant nutrition
  • plant physiology
  • plant biochemistry
  • atmospheric composition
  • climate change
  • soil–plant–atmosphere interaction
  • plant–soil feedback

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 1250 KiB  
Effects of Land Use Type Transformation on the Structure and Diversity of Soil Bacterial Communities
by Henian Hua, Xin Sui, Yanan Liu, Xu Liu, Qiuyang Chang, Ruiting Xu, Mengsha Li and Liqiang Mu
Life 2024, 14(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/life14020252 - 13 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 701
Soil microbiota are significantly influenced by their microenvironments. Therefore, to understand the impacts of various land use patterns on the diversity and composition of soil bacterial communities, this study focused on three typical land use types—NF (natural forest), AF (artificial forests), and FL [...] Read more.
Soil microbiota are significantly influenced by their microenvironments. Therefore, to understand the impacts of various land use patterns on the diversity and composition of soil bacterial communities, this study focused on three typical land use types—NF (natural forest), AF (artificial forests), and FL (farmland)—in the Heilongjiang Central Station Black-billed Capercaillie National Nature Reserve, located in the southwestern part of Heihe City, Heilongjiang Province, China. Using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we examined the soil bacterial community structures in these different land use types and explored their correlation with soil environmental factors. The following were our main observations: (1) Significant variations in soil chemical properties among different land use patterns were observed. In artificial forests, total nitrogen (TN), alkali hydrolyzed nitrogen (AN), total phosphorus (TP), and available phosphorus (AP) were higher compared to farmland and significantly higher than those in natural forests. Furthermore, the organic carbon content (SOC) in natural forests was higher than in artificial forests and significantly higher than in farmland. (2) Comparative analysis using the Shannon and Simpson indices revealed that bacterial community diversity was higher in artificial forests than in natural forests, which was significantly higher than in farmland. (3) The effect of different land use types on soil bacterial community structure was not significant. The three land types were dominated by Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Proteobacteria exhibited a higher relative abundance in farmland and artificial forests compared to natural forests, whereas Actinobacteria exhibited the lowest relative abundance in natural forests. (4) Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that SOC, TN, AN, and AP were key environmental factors influencing the microbial communities of soil. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that land use practices can significantly alter soil nutrient levels, thereby influencing the structure of bacterial communities. Full article
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