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Microbial Ecology
Vol. 67, No. 1, 2014, Pages: 161-166

Influence of Land Use Intensity on the Diversity of Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria and Archaea in Soils from Grassland Ecosystems

Annabel Meyer, Andreas Focks, Viviane Radl, Gerhard Welzl, Ingo Schöning, Michael Schloter

German Research Centre for Environmental Health; Environmental Genomics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764, Neuerberg, Germany.


In the present study, the influence of the land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in soils from different grassland ecosystems has been investigated in spring and summer of the season (April and July). Diversity of AOA and AOB was studied by TRFLP fingerprinting of amoA amplicons. The diversity from AOB was low and dominated by a peak that could be assigned to Nitrosospira. The obtained profiles for AOB were very stable and neither influenced by the land use intensity nor by the time point of sampling. In contrast, the obtained patterns for AOA were more complex although one peak that could be assigned to Nitrosopumilus was dominating all profiles independent from the land use intensity and the sampling time point. Overall, the AOA profiles were much more dynamic than those of AOB and responded clearly to the land use intensity. An influence of the sampling time point was again not visible. Whereas AOB profiles were clearly linked to potential nitrification rates in soil, major TRFs from AOA were negatively correlated to DOC and ammonium availability and not related to potential nitrification rates.


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