Responses of soil N-fixing bacteria communities to invasive plant species under different types of simulated acid deposition.
Biological invasions have incurred serious threats to native ecosystems in China, and soil N-fixing bacteria communities (SNB) may play a vital role in the successful plant invasion. Meanwhile, anthropogenic acid deposition is increasing in China, which may modify or upgrade the effects that invasive plant species can cause on SNB. We analyzed the structure and diversity of SNB by means of new generation sequencing technology in soils with different simulated acid deposition (SAD), i.e., different SO42- to NO3- ratios, and where the invasive (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and the native species (Amaranthus tricolor L.) grew mixed or isolated for 3 months. A. retroflexus itself did not exert significant effects on the diversity and richness of SNB but did it under certain SO42- to NO3- ratios. Compared to soils where the native species grew isolated, the soils where the invasive A. retroflexus grew isolated showed lower relative abundance of some SNB classes under certain SAD treatments. Some types of SAD can alter soil nutrient content which in turn could affect SNB diversity and abundance. Specifically, greater SO42- to NO3- ratios tended to have more toxic effects on SNB likely due to the higher exchange capacity of hydroxyl groups (OH-) between SO42- and NO3-. As a conclusion, it can be expected a change in the structure of SNB after A. retroflexus invasion under acid deposition rich in sulfuric acid. This change may create a plant soil feedback favoring future A. retroflexus invasions.