Eupatorium adenophorum invasion alters soil bacterial community and diversity.
The invasion of alien species can affect biological community structure and ecosystem functioning, but the relationships between invasive plants and soil microbial composition and diversity are still unclear. In order to examine the effect of the invasion of an exotic plant Eupatorium adenophorum on soil chemical properties and microbial community structure and diversity, we compared the differences in soil microbial community of three communities with different densities of E. adenophorum (native plant community, E. adenophorum and native plant mixed community, and E. adenophorum dominated community) by high-throughput sequencing. Analysis of soil chemical properties showed that soil pH, organic matter, total nitrogen and total potassium decreased with increasing invasion of E. adenophorum. However, total phosphorus was highest in the most heavily invaded soil. The high-throughput sequencing results showed that there were 7,755 soil microbial OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) in total. The invasion of E. adenophorum did not exert heavy impacts on soil microbial diversity. ACE index and Chao index showed no significant differences among the three different communities. However, soil microbial diversity of the mixed community of E. adenophorum and native plant species showed the lowest Shanonn index. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia in the medium invaded community were the highest. In sum, the invasion of E. adenophorum altered the diversity and structure of soil microbial communities, and changed the soil chemical properties.