Romdhane S, Spor A, Banerjee S, Breuil MC, Bru D, Chabbi A, Hallin S, van der Heijden MGA, Saghai A, Philippot L
Environ Microbiome 17 (1) 1 [2022-01-06; online 2022-01-06]
Soil microbial communities are major drivers of cycling of soil nutrients that sustain plant growth and productivity. Yet, a holistic understanding of the impact of land-use intensification on the soil microbiome is still poorly understood. Here, we used a field experiment to investigate the long-term consequences of changes in land-use intensity based on cropping frequency (continuous cropping, alternating cropping with a temporary grassland, perennial grassland) on bacterial, protist and fungal communities as well as on their co-occurrence networks. We showed that land use has a major impact on the structure and composition of bacterial, protist and fungal communities. Grassland and arable cropping differed markedly with many taxa differentiating between both land use types. The smallest differences in the microbiome were observed between temporary grassland and continuous cropping, which suggests lasting effects of the cropping system preceding the temporary grasslands. Land-use intensity also affected the bacterial co-occurrence networks with increased complexity in the perennial grassland comparing to the other land-use systems. Similarly, co-occurrence networks within microbial groups showed a higher connectivity in the perennial grasslands. Protists, particularly Rhizaria, dominated in soil microbial associations, as they showed a higher number of connections than bacteria and fungi in all land uses. Our findings provide evidence of legacy effects of prior land use on the composition of the soil microbiome. Whatever the land use, network analyses highlighted the importance of protists as a key element of the soil microbiome that should be considered in future work. Altogether, this work provides a holistic perspective of the differential responses of various microbial groups and of their associations to agricultural intensification.