Impact of soil matric potential on the fine-scale spatial distribution and activity of specific microbial degrader communities

INRA, UMR 1091 Environnement et Grandes Cultures, Bâtiment EGER, Thiverval Grignon, France.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology (Impact Factor: 3.88). 04/2012; 81(3):673-83. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01398.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The impact of the soil matric potential on the relationship between the relative abundance of degraders and their activity and on the spatial distribution of both at fine scales was determined to understand the role of environmental conditions in the degradation of organic substrates. The mineralization of (13) C-glucose and (13) C-2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was measured at different matric potentials (-0.001, -0.01 and -0.316 MPa) in 6 × 6 × 6 mm(3) cubes excised from soil cores. At the end of the incubation, total bacterial and 2,4-D degrader abundances were determined by quantifying the 16S rRNA and the tfdA genes, respectively. The mineralization of 2,4-D was more sensitive to changes in matric potential than was that of glucose. The amount and spatial structure of 2,4-D mineralization decreased with matric potential, whilst the spatial variability increased. On the other hand, the spatial variation of glucose mineralization was less affected by changes in matric potential. The relationship between the relative abundance of 2,4-D degraders and 2,4-D mineralization was significantly affected by matric potential: the relative abundance of tfdA needed to be higher to reach a given level of 2,4-D mineralization in dryer than in moister conditions. The data show how microbial interactions with their microhabitat can have an impact on soil processes at larger scales.


Available from: Cécile Monard, Apr 21, 2015
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pesticide biodegradation is a soil microbial function of critical importance for modern agriculture and its environmental impact. While it was once assumed that this activity was homogeneously distributed at the field scale, mounting evidence indicates that this is rarely the case. Here, we critically examine the literature on spatial variability of pesticide biodegradation in agricultural soil. We discuss the motivations, methods, and main findings of the primary literature. We found significant diversity in the approaches used to describe and quantify spatial heterogeneity, which complicates inter-studies comparisons. However, it is clear that the presence and activity of pesticide degraders is often highly spatially variable with coefficients of variation often exceeding 50% and frequently displays non-random spatial patterns. A few controlling factors have tentatively been identified across pesticide classes: they include some soil characteristics (pH) and some agricultural management practices (pesticide application, tillage), while other potential controlling factors have more conflicting effects depending on the site or the pesticide. Evidence demonstrating the importance of spatial heterogeneity on the fate of pesticides in soil has been difficult to obtain but modeling and experimental systems that do not include soil's full complexity reveal that this heterogeneity must be considered to improve prediction of pesticide biodegradation rates or of leaching risks. Overall, studying the spatial heterogeneity of pesticide biodegradation is a relatively new field at the interface of agronomy, microbial ecology, and geosciences and a wealth of novel data is being collected from these different disciplinary perspectives. We make suggestions on possible avenues to take full advantage of these investigations for a better understanding and prediction of the fate of pesticides in soil.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 12/2014; 5:667. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00667 · 3.94 Impact Factor