Main content

Indications of Shifting Microbial Communities Associated with Growing Biomass Crops on Marginal Lands in Southern Ontario

Show full item record

Title: Indications of Shifting Microbial Communities Associated with Growing Biomass Crops on Marginal Lands in Southern Ontario
Author: Mafa-Attoye, Tolulope
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Abstract: In Canada, purpose grown biomass is derived from herbaceous species such as Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), as well as woody species such as Poplar (Populus spp.) and Willow (Salix spp.). Feedstock derived from these biomass crops are used in the production of biofuels. Soil microorganisms in biomass crop ecosystems play very important roles in soil fertility and cycling of nutrients. Their relevance to biomass crop productivity, soil health and sustainability cannot be over emphasized. This study assessed the distribution of soil microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) in biomass crops planted in nitrogen (N) fertilized and unfertilized plots. Four biomass crops: poplar, switchgrass, miscanthus and willow were planted in 2009 on a marginal land in Guelph Ontario Canada. Half the plots were fertilized in a split-plot design with 4 field replicates. In fall 2014 and spring 2015, soil samples were collected at a depth of 15 cm and transported back to the lab for organic carbon, total nitrogen and microbial analysis. DNA was extracted from fresh soil, and total bacterial (16S rRNA), fungal communities (ITS), and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) were enumerated using the quantitative PCR (qPCR). Data was analyzed in SAS using ANOVA. Quantitative PCR revealed that total bacteria population did not differ across species of biomass crops; however, the bacterial community was significantly higher in N fertilized plots. Interestingly the fungal communities were significantly higher in the poplar and willow plots, resulting in higher fungal/bacterial ratios associated with poplar and willow compared to swithgrass and miscanthus. The abundance of the AMF was significantly higher in the perennial grasses (switchgrass and miscanthus) than in woody crops (poplar and willow).
Description: Research paper
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9281
Date: 2015-09-29


Files in this item

Files Size Format View Description
MafaAttoyeT_MRP_MES_201508.pdf 807.1Kb PDF View/Open Major paper

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record