Drip irrigation is broadly extended in order to save water in the arid cotton production region of China. Biochar is thought to be a useful soil amendment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Here, a field study was conducted to compare the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) under different irrigation methods (drip irrigation (D) and furrow irrigation (F)) and fertilization regimes (conventional fertilization (C) and conventional fertilization + biochar (B)) during the cotton growth season. The accumulated N2O emissions were significantly lower with FB, DC, and DB than with FC by 28.8%, 36.1%, and 37.6%, while accumulated CH4 uptake was 264.5%, 226.7%, and 154.2% higher with DC, DB, and FC than that with FB, respectively. Irrigation methods showed a significant effect on total global warming potential (GWP) and yield-scaled GWP (P < 0.01). DC and DB showed higher cotton yield, water use efficiency (WUE), and lower yield-scaled GWP, as compared with FC and FB. This suggests that in northwestern China mulched-drip irrigation should be a better approach to increase cotton yield with depressed GHG. In addition, biochar addition increased CH4 emissions while it decreased N2O emissions.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.
Naturally, simultaneous interactions occurred among plants, herbivores, and soil biota, that is, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), nematodes, and fungal pathogens. These multiple interactions play fundamental roles in driving process, structure, and functioning of ecosystems. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis with 144 papers to investigate the interactions between AMF and plant biotic stressors and their effects on plant growth performance. We found that AMF enhanced plant tolerance to herbivores, nematodes, and fungal pathogens. We also found reciprocal inhibition between AMF and nematodes as well as fungal pathogens, but unidirectional inhibition for AMF on herbivores. Negative effects of AMF on biotic stressors of plants depended on herbivore feeding sites and actioning modes of fungal pathogens. More performance was reduced in root-feeding than in shoot-feeding herbivores and in rotting- than in wilt-fungal pathogens. However, no difference was found for AMF negative effects between migratory and sedentary nematodes. In return, nematodes and fungal pathogens generated more reduction of root colonization in Non-Glomeraceae than in Glomeraceae. Our results suggested that AMF positive effects on plants might be indirectly mediated by competitive inhibition with biotic stressors of plants. These positive and negative interactions make potential contributions to maintaining ecosystem stability and functioning.
For centuries, traditional agricultural systems have contributed to food and livelihood security throughout the world. Recognizing the ecological legacy in the traditional agricultural systems may help us develop novel sustainable agriculture. We examine how rice-fish coculture (RF), which has been designated a "globally important agricultural heritage system," has been maintained for over 1,200 y in south China. A field survey demonstrated that although rice yield and rice-yield stability are similar in RF and rice monoculture (RM), RF requires 68% less pesticide and 24% less chemical fertilizer than RM. A field experiment confirmed this result. We documented that a mutually beneficial relationship between rice and fish develops in RF: Fish reduce rice pests and rice favors fish by moderating the water environment. This positive relationship between rice and fish reduces the need for pesticides in RF. Our results also indicate a complementary use of nitrogen (N) between rice and fish in RF, resulting in low N fertilizer application and low N release into the environment. These findings provide unique insights into how positive interactions and complementary use of resource between species generate emergent ecosystem properties and how modern agricultural systems might be improved by exploiting synergies between species.
Negative or positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and host plants can contribute to plant species interactions, but how this feedback affects plant invasion or resistance to invasion is not well known. Here we tested how alterations in AMF community induced by an invasive plant species generate feedback to the invasive plant itself and affect subsequent interactions between the invasive species and its native neighbors. We first examined the effects of the invasive forb Solidago canadensis L. on AMF communities comprising five different AMF species. We then examined the effects of the altered AMF community on mutualisms formed with the native legume forb species Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schindl. and on the interaction between the invasive and native plants. The host preferences of the five AMF were also assessed to test whether the AMF form preferred mutualistic relations with the invasive and/or the native species. We found that S. canadensis altered AMF spore composition by increasing one AMF species (Glomus geosporum) while reducing Glomus mosseae, which is the dominant species in the field. The host preference test showed that S. canadensis had promoted the abundance of AMF species (G. geosporum) that most promoted its own growth. As a consequence, the altered AMF community enhanced the competitiveness of invasive S. canadensis at the expense of K. striata. Our results demonstrate that the invasive S. canadensis alters soil AMF community composition because of fungal-host preference. This change in the composition of the AMF community generates positive feedback to the invasive S. canadensis itself and decreases AM associations with native K. striata, thereby making the native K. striata less dominant.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can form obligate symbioses with the vast majority of land plants, and AMF distribution patterns have received increasing attention from researchers. At the local scale, the distribution of AMF is well documented. Studies at large scales, however, are limited because intensive sampling is difficult. Here, we used ITS rDNA sequence metadata obtained from public databases to study the distribution of AMF at continental and global scales. We also used these sequence metadata to investigate whether host plant is the main factor that affects the distribution of AMF at large scales.
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