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Xue K.,University of Oklahoma | van Nostrand J.D.,University of Oklahoma | Vangronsveld J.,Hasselt University | Witters N.,Hasselt University | And 8 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2015

We studied the microbial functional diversity, biochemical activity, heavy metals (HM) availability and soil toxicity of Cd, Pb and Zn contaminated soils, kept under grassland or short rotation coppice (SRC) to attenuate the risks associated with HM contamination and restore the soil ecological functions. Soil microbial functional diversity was analyzed by the GeoChip, a functional gene microarray containing probes for genes involved in nutrient cycling, metal resistance and stress response. Soil under SRC showed a higher abundance of microbial genes involved in C, N, P and S cycles and resistance to various HM, higher microbial biomass, respiration and enzyme activity rates, and lower HM availability than the grassland soil. The linkages between functional genes of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties, HM availability and biochemical activity were also investigated. Soil toxicity and N, P and Pb availability were important factors in shaping the microbial functional diversity, as determined by CCA. We concluded that in HM contaminated soils the microbial functional diversity was positively influenced by SRC management through the reduction of HM availability and soil toxicity increase of nutrient cycling. The presented results can be important in predicting the long term environmental sustainability of plant-based soil remediation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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