Effects of Slope Aspects on Soil Bacterial and Arbuscular Fungal Communities in a Boreal Forest in China

Haiyan Chu, Xingjia Xiang, Jian Yang, Jonathan M. Adams, Kaoping Zhang, Yuntao Li, Yu Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The effects of slope aspects on soil biogeochemical properties and plant communities in forested environments have been studied extensively; however, slope aspect influence on soil microbial communities remains largely unexamined, despite the central role of soil biota in ecosystem functioning. In this study, the communities of both soil bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were investigated using tagged pyrosequencing for three types of slope aspects (south-facing aspect, north-facing aspect and flat area) in a boreal forest of the Greater Khingan Mountains, China. The bacterial and AMF community composition differed with slope aspects. Bacterial diversity was the lowest on the north-facing aspect, and AMF diversity was the lowest on the flat area. Aspects also had a significant impact on soil pH and available phosphorus (P) and shrubby biomass. Soil pH and understory shrub biomass were significantly correlated with bacterial communities, and soil available P and shrub biomass showed significant correlations with AMF communities. Our results suggested that slope aspects affected bacterial and AMF communities, mediated by aspect-induced changes in plant community and soil chemical properties (e.g., pH and available P), which improved the knowledge on the effects of forest slope aspects on aboveground and belowground communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Soil Science Society of China.


  • Available P
  • Plant communities
  • Pyrosequencing
  • Shrubby biomass
  • Soil chemical properties
  • Soil microbial communities
  • Soil pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Slope Aspects on Soil Bacterial and Arbuscular Fungal Communities in a Boreal Forest in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this