Author(s): Liao M, Chen CL, Zeng LS, Huang CY
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Abstract A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the impact of different concentrations of lead acetate on soil microbial biomass and community structure during growth of Chinese cabbage (Brassica chinensis) in two different soils. The field soils were used for a small pot, short-term 60-day growth chamber study. The soils were amended with different Pb concentrations, ranging from 0 to 900mgkg(-1) soil. The experimental design was a 2 soilx2 vegetation/non-vegetationx6 treatments (Pb)x3 replicate factorial experiment. At 60 days the study was terminated and soils were analyzed for microbial parameters, namely, microbial biomass, basal respiration and PLFAs. The results indicated that the application of Pb at lower concentrations (100 and 300mgkg(-1)) as lead acetate resulted in a slight increase in soil microbial biomass, whereas Pb concentrations >500mgkg(-1) caused an immediate gradual significant decline in biomass. However, the degree of impact on soil microbial biomass and basal respiration by Pb was related to management (plant vegetation) or the contents of clay and organic matter in soils. The profiles of 21 phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to assess whether observed changes in functional microbial parameters were accompanied by changes in the composition of the microbial communities after Pb application at 0, 300 and 900mg Pbkg(-1) soil. The results of principal component analyses (PCA) indicated that there were significant increases in fungi biomarkers of 18:3omega6c, 18:1omega9c and a decrease in cy17:0, which is an indicator of gram-negative bacteria for the high levels of Pb treatments In a word, soil microbial biomass and community structure, therefore, may be sensitive indicators reflecting environmental stress in soil-Pb-plant system. However, further studies will be needed to better understand how these changes in microbial community structure might actually impact soil microbial community function.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation