Table_6_Macroaggregates Serve as Micro-Hotspots Enriched With Functional and Networked Microbial Communities and Enhanced Under Organic/Inorganic Fertilization in a Paddy Topsoil From Southeastern China.DOCX
Microbial communities of soil aggregate-size fractions were explored with molecular and networking assays for topsoil samples from a clayey rice paddy under long-term fertilization treatments. The treatments included no fertilizer (NF) as control, chemical fertilizer only (CF), chemical fertilizer with swine manure (CFM), and chemical fertilizer with rice straw return (CFS). Following a wet-sieving protocol, water-stable aggregates were separated into size fractions of large macroaggregates (L-MacA, >2,000 μm), macroaggregates (MacA, 2,000–250 μm), microaggregates (MicA, 250–53 μm), fine microaggregates (F-MicA, 53–2 μm), and fine clay (F-Clay, <2 μm). Mass proportion was 32.3–38.2% for F-MicA, 23.0–31.5% for MacA, 19.0–23.1% for MicA, 9.1–12.0% for L-MacA, and 4.9–7.5% for F-Clay, respectively. The proportion of MacA was increased, but F-Clay was reduced by fertilization, whereas the mean weight diameter was increased by 8.0–16.2% from 534.8 μm under NF to 621.5 μm under CFM. Fertilization affected bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal 18S rRNA gene abundance in F-MicA and F-Clay but not in aggregates in size larger than 53 μm. However, bacterial and fungal community α-diversities and community structures were quite more divergent among the fertilization treatments in all size fractions. Organic carbon and gene abundance of bacteria and fungi were enriched in both L-MacA and MacA but depleted in F-Clay, whereas microbial Shannon diversity was rarely changed by fraction size under the four treatments. L-MacA and MacA contained more bacteria of r-strategists and copiotrophs, whereas F-MicA and F-Clay were demonstrated with a higher abundance of K-strategists and oligotrophs. Guilds of parasitic and litter saprotrophic fungi were enriched in F-MicA but depleted in L-MacA. Furthermore, most of bacterial and fungal operational taxonomic units were strongly interacted in L-MacA and MacA rather than in MicA and F-Clay. Thus, MacA acted as micro-hotspots enriched with functional and networked microbial communities, which were enhanced with organic/inorganic fertilization in the rice paddy.