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Abundance, diversity and functional gene expression of denitrifier communities inadjacent riparian and agricultural zones

Dandie, C.E., Wertz, S., Leclair, C.L., Goyer, C., Burton, D.L., Patten, C.L., Zebarth, B.J., Trevors, J.T. (2011). Abundance, diversity and functional gene expression of denitrifier communities inadjacent riparian and agricultural zones, 77(1), 69-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01084.x

Abstract

Lands under riparian and agricultural management differ in soil properties, water content, plant species and nutrient content and are therefore expected to influence denitrifier communities, denitrification and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Denitrifier community abundance, denitrifier community structure, denitrification gene expression and activity were quantified on three dates in a maize field and adjacent riparian zone. N2O emissions were greater in the agricultural zone, whereas complete denitrification to N2 was greater in the riparian zone. In general, the targeted denitrifier community abundance did not change between agricultural and riparian zones. However, nosZ gene expression was greater in the riparian zone than the agricultural zone. The community structure of nirS-gene-bearing denitrifiers differed in June only, whereas the nirK-gene-bearing community structure differed significantly between the riparian and the agricultural zones at all dates. The nirKgene- bearing community structure was correlated with soil pH, while no significant correlations were found between nirS-gene-bearing community structure and soil environmental variables or N2O emissions, denitrification or denitrifier enzyme activity. The results suggested for the nirK and nirS-gene-bearing communities different factors control abundance vs. community structure. The nirK-gene-bearing community structure was also more responsive than the nirS-gene-bearing community structure to change between the two ecosystems. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

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