Author(s): Guangliang Zhang; Junhong Bai; Jia Jia; Wei Wang; Xin Wang; Qingqing Zhao
Linked Author(s): Xin Wang
Keywords: Spartina alterniflora; Plant invasion; Coastal salt marsh; Soil microbial community; Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs); The Yellow River Estuary
Abstract: Plant invasion is expected to alter native soil microbial community composition, and further influence the biogeochemical processes. Little is known about the dynamics of soil microbial community over invasive time. In this study, we investigated the impact of an exotic plant (Spartina alterniflora) along a short-term invasive chronosequence (2-, 5-and 10-year-old) on the soil microbial composition using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) profiling in the Yellow River Estuary salt marsh, and native plant (Suaeda salsa) was viewed as control site. Results exhibited an orderly change in soil physicochemical characteristics and microbial community composition with increasing invasion time in the selected salt marsh. With the S. alterniflora invasion, linear increasing trends of soil moisture, soil organic carbon (SOC), soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the total of PLFAs were found, while the pH and soil bulk density were weakly declined. The elevated values of relative abundance of fungi and the ratio of fungi: bacteria (F: B) in all invaded sites were mainly associated with the accumulation of soil available substrate (e. g., SOC and DOC). S. alterniflora invasion also increased the ratio of gram-positive/gram-positive (G: G) bacterial PLFAs, whose highest values were presented in the newly-formed (2-year-old) invasion site. Study results reflected the chronological effect of S. alterniflora invasion on the soil physicochemical characteristics and microbial community composition in a short-term phase, which contribute to link the plant invasion and soil development of coastal salt marshes.