Responses of Soil Rare and Abundant Sub-Communities and Physicochemical Properties after Application of Different Chinese Herb Residue Soil Amendments

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 May 28;32(5):564-574. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2202.02029.


Microbial diversity in the soil is responsive to changes in soil composition. However, the impact of soil amendments on the diversity and structure of rare and abundant sub-communities in agricultural systems is poorly understood. We investigated the effects of different Chinese herb residue (CHR) soil amendments and cropping systems on bacterial rare and abundant sub-communities. Our results showed that the bacterial diversity and structure of these sub-communities in soil had a specific distribution under the application of different soil amendments. The CHR soil amendments with high nitrogen and organic matter additives significantly increased the relative abundance and stability of rare taxa, which increased the structural and functional redundancy of soil bacterial communities. Rare and abundant sub-communities also showed different preferences in terms of bacterial community composition, as the former was enriched with Bacteroidetes while the latter had more Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. All applications of soil amendments significantly improved soil quality of newly created farmlands in whole maize cropping system. Rare sub-communitiy genera Niastella and Ohtaekwangia were enriched during the maize cropping process, and Nitrososphaera was enriched under the application of simple amendment group soil. Thus, Chinese medicine residue soil amendments with appropriate additives could affect soil rare and abundant sub-communities and enhance physicochemical properties. These findings suggest that applying soil composite amendments based on CHR in the field could improve soil microbial diversity, microbial redundancy, and soil fertility for sustainable agriculture on the Loess Plateau.

Keywords: Rare sub-community; abundant sub-community; bacterial communities; soil amendments; soil physicochemical properties.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Bacteria
  • China
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Soil* / chemistry


  • Soil