Short‐term impact of fire on the total soil microbial and nitrifier communities in a wet savanna - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Ecology and Evolution Year : 2021

Short‐term impact of fire on the total soil microbial and nitrifier communities in a wet savanna

Abstract

Savannas are characterized by the coexistence of grasses and trees. Fires are critical for their coexistence, because they decrease the survival of tree seedlings and saplings and their recruitment to the adult stage. In some humid savannas, perennial grasses inhibit nitrification and trees stimulate nitrification, which likely favors coexistence between trees and grasses. However, fires may influence plant capacity to control nitrogen cycling, which could subsequently influence tree-grass coexistence and savanna nitrogen budget. Therefore, we sampled soil in a humid savanna of Ivory Coast under the dominant nitrification-inhibiting grass species and the dominant nitrification-stimulating tree species and under bare soil before and after (i.e., 5 days) fire during the long dry season. We quantified the total microbial and nitrifier abundances and transcriptional activities and the nitrification enzyme activity. Fire decreased soil water content, probably by increasing evaporation and, maybe, by triggering the growth of grasses, and increased soil ammonium availability likely due to ash deposition and increased mineralization. Fire did not impact the total archaeal, bacterial, or fungal abundances, or that of the nitrifiers. Fire did not impact archaeal transcriptional activity and increased bacterial and fungal total transcriptional activities. In contrast, fire decreased the archaeal nitrifier transcriptional activities and the nitrification enzymatic activity, likely due to the often reported resumption of the growth of nitrification-inhibiting grasses quickly after the fire (and the subsequent increase in root exudation). These results pave the way for a better understanding of the short-term effects of fire on nitrogen cycling and tree-grass competition for nitrogen.

Dates and versions

hal-03373786 , version 1 (11-10-2021)

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Tharaniya Srikanthasamy, Sébastien Barot, Fulgence Koffi, Kevin Tambosco, Yoan Marcangeli, et al.. Short‐term impact of fire on the total soil microbial and nitrifier communities in a wet savanna. Ecology and Evolution, 2021, 11 (15), pp.9958-9969. ⟨10.1002/ece3.7661⟩. ⟨hal-03373786⟩
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