Linking soil microbial community structure to potential carbon mineralization: A continental scale assessment of reduced tillage

Elizabeth L. Rieke, Shannon B. Cappellazzi, Michael Cope, Daniel Liptzin, G. Mac Bean, Kelsey L.H. Greub, Charlotte E. Norris, Paul W. Tracy, Ezra Aberle, Amanda Ashworth, Oscar Bañuelos Tavarez, Andy I. Bary, R. L. Baumhardt, Alberto Borbón Gracia, Daniel C. Brainard, Jameson R. Brennan, Dolores Briones Reyes, Darren Bruhjell, Cameron N. Carlyle, James J.W. CrawfordCody F. Creech, Steve W. Culman, Bill Deen, Curtis J. Dell, Justin D. Derner, Thomas F. Ducey, Sjoerd W. Duiker, Miles F. Dyck, Benjamin H. Ellert, Avelino Espinosa Solorio, Steven J. Fonte, Simon Fonteyne, Ann Marie Fortuna, Jamie L. Foster, Lisa M. Fultz, Audrey V. Gamble, Charles M. Geddes, Deirdre Griffin-LaHue, John H. Grove, Stephen K. Hamilton, Xiying Hao, Zachary D. Hayden, Nora Honsdorf, Julie A. Howe, James A. Ippolito, Gregg A. Johnson, Mark A. Kautz, Newell R. Kitchen, Sandeep Kumar, Kirsten S.M. Kurtz, Francis J. Larney, Katie L. Lewis, Matt Liebman, Antonio Lopez Ramirez, Stephen Machado, Bijesh Maharjan, Miguel Angel Martinez Gamiño, William E. May, Mitchel P. McClaran, Marshall D. McDaniel, Neville Millar, Jeffrey P. Mitchell, Amber D. Moore, Philip A. Moore, Manuel Mora Gutiérrez, Kelly A. Nelson, Emmanuel C. Omondi, Shannon L. Osborne, Leodegario Osorio Alcalá, Philip Owens, Eugenia M. Pena-Yewtukhiw, Hanna J. Poffenbarger, Brenda Ponce Lira, Jennifer R. Reeve, Timothy M. Reinbott, Mark S. Reiter, Edwin L. Ritchey, Kraig L. Roozeboom, Yichao Rui, Amir Sadeghpour, Upendra M. Sainju, Gregg R. Sanford, William F. Schillinger, Robert R. Schindelbeck, Meagan E. Schipanski, Alan J. Schlegel, Kate M. Scow, Lucretia A. Sherrod, Amy L. Shober, Sudeep S. Sidhu, Ernesto Solís Moya, Mervin St Luce, Jeffrey S. Strock, Andrew E. Suyker, Virginia R. Sykes, Haiying Tao, Alberto Trujillo Campos, Laura L. Van Eerd, Nele Verhulst, Tony J. Vyn, Yutao Wang, Dexter B. Watts, Bryan B. William, David L. Wright, Tiequan Zhang, Cristine L.S. Morgan, C. Wayne Honeycutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Potential carbon mineralization (Cmin) is a commonly used indicator of soil health, with greater Cmin values interpreted as healthier soil. While Cmin values are typically greater in agricultural soils managed with minimal physical disturbance, the mechanisms driving the increases remain poorly understood. This study assessed bacterial and archaeal community structure and potential microbial drivers of Cmin in soils maintained under various degrees of physical disturbance. Potential carbon mineralization, 16S rRNA sequences, and soil characterization data were collected as part of the North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements (NAPESHM). Results showed that type of cropping system, intensity of physical disturbance, and soil pH influenced microbial sensitivity to physical disturbance. Furthermore, 28% of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), which were important in modeling Cmin, were enriched under soils managed with minimal physical disturbance. Sequences identified as enriched under minimal disturbance and important for modeling Cmin, were linked to organisms which could produce extracellular polymeric substances and contained metabolic strategies suited for tolerating environmental stressors. Understanding how physical disturbance shapes microbial communities across climates and inherent soil properties and drives changes in Cmin provides the context necessary to evaluate management impacts on standardized measures of soil microbial activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108618
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The NAPESHM project is part of a broader effort titled, “Assessing and Expanding Soil Health for Production, Economic, and Environmental Benefits”. The project is funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (grant ID 523926), General Mills, and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The authors acknowledge the following individuals for their contribution to the long-term research sites Rob Dungan, Paul DeMaere, Merf Solorio, Jaime Solorio, Tracy Waltrip, Nelson Vallejo, Mark Strole. Bob Blevens, George Kapusta, Ronald Krausz, Karla Gage, Rachel Cook, Amanda Weidhuner, Con Campbell, Brian McConkey, Harold van Es, Hong Wang, Reynald Lemke, Kelsey Brandt, D. Lawrence, M.R. Reeb, B. Horner, M. Soultani, Sean Vink, Mike Zink, Melissa Bell, Nancy Creamer, Alan Franzluebbers, Tomas Moreno, Paul Mueller, Chris Reberg-Horton, Joshua Heitman, April Leytem, Mark Liebig, Deanna Osmond, Michael Thompson, Martin Entz, and K. Rinas. Thank you.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Microbial community
  • Potential carbon mineralization
  • Soil health
  • Tillage


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