Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (5): 687-698.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0124

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of phyllospheric microorganisms on litter decomposition of Pinus massoniana

ZHENG Yang1,2, SUN Xue-Guang1,2,*(), XIONG Yang-Yang2, YUAN Gui-Yun1,2, DING Gui-Jie1,2   

  1. 1. Guizhou Provincial Forest Resources and Environment Research Center/Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory of Plateau Mountain Forest Cultivation, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
    2. College of Forestry, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
  • Received:2022-04-08 Accepted:2022-06-09 Online:2023-05-20 Published:2022-07-15
  • Supported by:
    Science and Technology Project of Guizhou Province([2018]5261);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31971572);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31500090)


Aims As the first colonizer of leaf litters, the phyllospheric microbes may directly participate in the decomposition of litters.
Methods To test this hypothesis, the diversity of phyllospheric microbes and their effects in needle litter decomposition of Pinus massoniana were investigated by employing high-throughput amplicon sequencing techniques and indoor decomposition experiments.
Important findings (1) There are abundant and diverse microbial communities in the phyllospheric microbes of P. massoniana, and the microbial communities changed rapidly along with needle senescence. A large number of shared operational taxonomic units were detected among samples of mature needles, litter needles, and decomposing needles. (2) The decomposition process of P. massoniana needles can be divided into two stages: the rapid decomposition period (the first 8 months) and the slow decomposition period (after 8 months). Phyllospheric microbes of the senesced needles (fallen but not in contact with the soil) could decompose needle litters, and the decomposition rates exhibited the trend of phyllospheric microbes + soil microbes treatment > phyllospheric microbes treatment > soil microorganism treatment. There are synergistic effects between phyllospheric microbes and soil microbes during the decomposition of P. massoniana needles. (3) The decomposition rate of needle litters was significantly positively correlated with those of lignin and cellulose, while not correlated with the activity of lignin or cellulose decomposing enzymes. For ligninolytic enzymes, the activity of polyphenol oxidase had a significantly negative correlation with peroxidase activity. Meanwhile, activity of ligninolytic enzyme β-glucosidase had a significantly positive correlation with cellobiohydrolase activity. In conclusion, the present results indicate that the phyllospheric microbes can directly participate in the decomposition of needle litters, and its effect on the decomposition rate of needle litters of P. massoniana is superior to that of the soil microbes. These results have advanced the litter decomposition theory and provided theoretical foundation for further investigation into the core microbiome participating in litter decomposition.

Key words: Pinus massoniana, litters, phyllospheric microbes, soil microbes, decomposition