Articles | Volume 14, issue 16
Research article
23 Aug 2017
Research article |  | 23 Aug 2017

Development of bacterial communities in biological soil crusts along a revegetation chronosequence in the Tengger Desert, northwest China

Lichao Liu, Yubing Liu, Peng Zhang, Guang Song, Rong Hui, Zengru Wang, and Jin Wang

Abstract. Knowledge of structure and function of microbial communities in different successional stages of biological soil crusts (BSCs) is still scarce for desert areas. In this study, Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to assess the compositional changes of bacterial communities in different ages of BSCs in the revegetation of Shapotou in the Tengger Desert. The most dominant phyla of bacterial communities shifted with the changed types of BSCs in the successional stages, from Firmicutes in mobile sand and physical crusts to Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria in BSCs, and the most dominant genera shifted from Bacillus, Enterococcus and Lactococcus to RB41_norank and JG34-KF-361_norank. Alpha diversity and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis indicated that bacterial richness and abundance reached their highest levels after 15 years of BSC development. Redundancy analysis showed that silt + clay content and total K were the prime determinants of the bacterial communities of BSCs. The results suggested that bacterial communities of BSCs recovered quickly with the improved soil physicochemical properties in the early stages of BSC succession. Changes in the bacterial community structure may be an important indicator in the biogeochemical cycling and nutrient storage in early successional stages of BSCs in desert ecosystems.

This paper has been retracted.


This paper has been retracted. Please read the editorial note.

Short summary
We studied the development process of bacterial community structure of biological soil crusts (BSCs) along a revegetation chronosequence by Illumina MiSeq sequencing in the Tengger Desert. Our results indicated (1) a shift of bacterial composition related to their function in the crust development process; (2) bacterial diversity and richness consistent with the recovery phase of soil properties; and (3) bacteria as key contributors to the BSC succession process.
Final-revised paper