Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Microbial diversity in the saline-alkali soil of a coastal Tamarix chinensis woodland at Bohai Bay, China


Soil salinization or alkalization is a form of soil desertification. Coastal saline-alkali soil represents a type of desert and a key system in the network of ecosystems at the continent-ocean interface. Tamarix chinensis is a drought-tolerant plant that is widely distributed in the coastal saline-alkali soil of Bohai Bay, China. In this study, we used 454 pyrosequencing techniques to investigate the characteristics and distribution of the microbial diversity in coastal saline-alkali soil of the T. chinensis woodland at Bohai Bay. A total of 20,315 sequences were obtained, representing 19 known bacterial phyla and a large proportion of unclassified bacteria at the phylum level. Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria were the predominant phyla. The coverage of T. chinensis affected the microbial composition. At the phylum level, the relative abundance of γ-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased whereas Actinobacteria increased with the increasing coverage of T. chinensis. At the genus level, the proportions of Steroidobacter, Lechevalieria, Gp3 and Gp4 decreased with the increase of the vegetation coverage whereas the proportion of Nocardioides increased. A cluster analysis showed that the existing T. chinensis changed the niches for the microorganisms in the coastal saline-alkali soil, which caused changes in the microbial community. The analysis also distinguished the microbial community structure of the marginal area from those of the dense area and sparse area. Furthermore, the results also indicated that the distance to the seashore line could also affect certain groups of soil bacteria in this coastal saline-alkali soil, such as the family Cryomorphaceae and class Flavobacteria, whose population decreased as the distance increased. In addition, the seawater and temperature could be the driving factors that affected the changes.


coastal saline-alkali soil; Tamarix chinensis; bacteria; pyrosequencing

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