Moso bamboo invasion into broadleaf forests is associated with greater abundance and activity of soil autotrophic bacteria.
Aims: Plant invasion can alter the soil microbial community and carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; however, shifts in soil autotrophic bacterial communities and their driving environmental factors after plant invasion remain largely unknown. This study examined the relationship between Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubscens) invasion into broadleaf forests and autotrophic bacterial community composition-function at two field sites. Methods: The abundance and composition of autotrophic bacteria were characterized by real-time PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, and clone library based on the cbbL gene that encodes ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). Results: On average, the cbbL gene abundance was 89% higher and RubisCO enzyme activity 110% higher in the bamboo forest than in the broadleaf forests across the two field sites. The cbbL gene abundance was positively correlated with the RubisCO enzyme activity. The cbbL-containing communities were dominated by the order Rhizobiales, and their composition differed between the forest types and between the two sites, with the effect of site location being greater. Soil readily-oxidizable carbon concentration was a critical factor determining the site location effect on the diversity and activity of the cbbL-containing community. Conclusion: Greater abundance and activity of autotrophic bacteria were associated with bamboo invasion into broadleaf forests, implying that such invasions are expected to increase the CO2 fixation potential.