Pedosphere 33(3): 508--520, 2023
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2023 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Soil bacterial communities under slash and burn in Mozambique as revealed by a metataxonomic approach
Dominique SERRANI1, Ilario FERROCINO2, Cristiana GAROFALO1, Andrea OSIMANI1, Maria Rita CORVAGLIA2, Vesna MILANOVIĆ1, Lucia AQUILANTI1, Stefania COCCO1, Valeria CARDELLI1, Rogério Borguete Alves RAFAEL3, Elena FRANCIOSI4, Kieran TUOHY4, Francesca CLEMENTI1, Giuseppe CORTI1
1 Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona 60131(Italy);
2 Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Grugliasco 10095(Italy);
3 Department of Rural Engineering, Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo 257(Mozambique);
4 Research and Innovation Center, Fondazione Edmund Mach(FEM), San Michele all'Adige 38010(Italy)
      The slash-and-burn system is a subsistence agronomical practice widespread in tropical areas worldwide. This system has been extensively studied, especially for its impacts on agronomical aspects and soil physicochemical properties; however, knowledge of soil microbial diversity under slash and bum is scarce. In this study, for the first time, soil bacterial diversity of three locations from Central Mozambique, where slash and burn has been practiced for different durations of the forest fallow period (ca. 25, 35, and 50 years), was elucidated through a metataxonomic approach. Bacterial communities were evaluated in the genetic horizons of soils under charcoal kilns, crop fields, and forests. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of spatial (location and land use), temporal (forest fallow period), and vertical (horizon) variations on bacterial community structure in relation to soil physicochemical properties. Metataxonomic analysis detected 25 different phyla whose distribution varied horizontally and vertically in relation to soil properties (i.e., pH, easily oxidizable organic carbon, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus), as well as particle size distribution and mineralogical composition. Such properties were strongly affected and altered by land-use management; in particular, charcoal kilns exhibited better soil properties and greater differences in bacterial community than crop fields and forests, which were quite similar. This might suggest the inability of a forest fallow period shorter than 50 years to improve soil fertility and induce changes in bacterial community. The uncommon application of the pedological approach for microbial evaluation facilitated the detection of a clear separation in bacterial composition along the soil profile, with eutrophic bacteria mainly located in the A horizon whereas oligotrophic bacteria were found in the Bo horizon. These horizontal and vertical heterogeneities in the same study represent a novelty for bacterial metataxonomic analysis.
Key Words:  16S rRNA gene,agroforestry,land use,soil microbiota,soil physicochemical property
Citation: Serrani D, Ferrocino I, Garofalo C, Osimani A, Corvaglia M R, Milanović V, Aquilanti L, Cocco S, Cardelli V, Rafael R B A, Franciosi E, Tuohy K, Clementi F, Corti G. 2023. Soil bacterial communities under slash and burn in Mozambique as revealed by a metataxonomic approach. Pedosphere. 33(3): 508-520.
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