Volatile organic compound emissions from straw-amended agricultural soils and their relations to bacterial communities: A laboratory study

Juan Zhao , Zhe Wang , Ting Wu , Xinming Wang , Wanhong Dai , Yujie Zhang , Ran Wang , Yonggan Zhang , Chengfei Shi


Received September 28, 2015,Revised December 27, 2015, Accepted December 29, 2015, Available online April 07, 2016

Volume 28,2016,Pages 257-269

A laboratory study was conducted to investigate volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from agricultural soil amended with wheat straw and their associations with bacterial communities for a period of 66 days under non-flooded and flooded conditions. The results indicated that ethene, propene, ethanol, i-propanol, 2-butanol, acetaldehyde, acetone, 2-butanone, 2-pentanone and acetophenone were the 10 most abundant VOCs, making up over 90% of the total VOCs released under the two water conditions. The mean emission of total VOCs from the amended soils under the non-flooded condition (5924 ng C/(kg·hr)) was significantly higher than that under the flooded condition (2211 ng C/(kg·hr)). One “peak emission window” appeared at days 0–44 or 4–44, and over 95% of the VOC emissions occurred during the first month under the two water conditions. Bacterial community analysis using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed that a relative increase of Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and γ-Proteobacteria but a relative decrease of Acidobacteria with time were observed after straw amendments under the two water conditions. Cluster analysis revealed that the soil bacterial communities changed greatly with incubation time, which was in line with the variation of the VOC emissions over the experimental period. Most of the above top 10 VOCs correlated positively with the predominant bacterial species of Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Verrucomicrobia but correlated negatively with the dominant bacterial species of Actinobacteria under the two water conditions. These results suggested that bacterial communities might play an important role in VOC emissions from straw-amended agricultural soils.

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