Does fresh farmyard manure introduce surviving microbes into soil or activate soil-borne microbiota?

J Environ Manage. 2021 Sep 15:294:113018. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113018. Epub 2021 Jun 16.


Manure inputs into soil strongly affect soil microbial communities leading to shifts in microbial diversity and activity. It is still not clear whether these effects are caused mainly by the survival of microbes introduced with manure or by activation of the soil-borne microbiome. Here, we investigated how the soil microbiome was changed after the introduction of fresh farmyard cattle manure, and which microorganisms originating from manure survived in soil. Manure addition led to a strong increase in soil microbial biomass, gene copies abundances, respiration activity, and diversity. High-throughput sequencing analysis showed that higher microbial diversity in manured soil was caused mainly by activation of 113 soil-borne microbial genera which were mostly minor taxa in not-fertilized soil. Two weeks after manure input, 78% of the manure-associated genera were not detected anymore. Only 15 of 237 prokaryotic genera that originated from manure survived for 144 days in soil, and only 8 of them (primarily representatives of Clostridia class) were found in manured soil after winter. Thus, an increase in microbial biomass and diversity after manure input is caused mainly by activation of soil-borne microbial communities, while most exogenous microbes from manure do not survive in soil conditions after few months.

Keywords: High-throughput sequencing; Microbial diversity; Microbial survival; Organic fertilizers.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Fertilizers / analysis
  • Manure*
  • Microbiota* / genetics
  • Soil
  • Soil Microbiology


  • Fertilizers
  • Manure
  • Soil