Distinct Nitrification Rates and Nitrifiers in Needleleaf and Evergreen Broadleaf Forest Soils

Xue Zhou, Jaehyun Lee, Jeongeun Yun, Jinhyun Kim, Yerang Yang, Hojeong Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on niche specialization in the microbial communities of ammonia oxidizers is important for assessing the consequences of vegetation shift on nitrogen (N) cycling. In this study, soils were sampled from three tree stands (needleleaf, mixed, and evergreen broadleaf) from the Hannam experimental forest in South Korea in spring (May 2019), summer (August 2019), autumn (November 2019), and winter (January 2020). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing were used to measure the abundance and community structure of various nitrifiers: ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB, respectively) as well as complete ammonia oxidizers (comammox). Nitrification rates and total ammonia oxidizer abundance were significantly higher in needleleaf forest soil than those in other forest stands, and they were lowest in evergreen broadleaf forest soil. Comammox clade B was most abundant in needleleaf and evergreen broadleaf forest soils, while AOA were significantly more abundant in mixed forest soil. The abundances of comammox clade B and AOA were negatively correlated with dissolved organic carbon. Phylogenetic analysis showed that NT-alpha and NS-gamma-2.3.2 were the most abundant AOA lineages in all the samples. The seasonal of AOA, AOB, and comammox varied with the sites, suggesting the need to examine the combinations of environmental factors when considering the effects of seasonal changes in the environment. Overall, the results suggest that potential vegetation shifts in forest ecosystems might affect nitrification activities by regulating the abundance and community structure of ammonia oxidizers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by NRF (2020R1I1A2072824). Jinhyun Kim was supported by the funds from the Ministry of Education of Korea (2019R1A6A3A01091184).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct Nitrification Rates and Nitrifiers in Needleleaf and Evergreen Broadleaf Forest Soils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this