Rhizosphere effects on soil bacterial abundance and diversity in the Yellow River Deltaic ecosystem as influenced by petroleum contamination and soil salinization

Ming Nie, Xiao-dong Zhang, Jin-qing Wang, Li-fen Jiang, Ji Yang, Zhe-xue Quan, Xin-hong Cui, Chang-ming Fang, Bo Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we compared the differences of bacterial abundance and diversity between rhizosphere and surrounding bulk soils under soil salinization and petroleum contamination in the Yellow River Delta on a 110-km-distance scale. In comparison with bulk soils, rhizosphere soils were mainly characterized by lower-salinity and higher water content in saline soils. For bacterial abundance, the numbers of total bacteria and hydrocarbon degraders were significantly higher in rhizosphere soils than those in bulk soils. Although there was no significant difference in total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentration between the two types of soils, TPH had distinctly different effects on bacterial abundance in rhizosphere and bulk soils. TPH concentration was the major determinant of total bacterial abundance and had positive effects on abundances of hydrocarbon degraders. However, the abundances of total bacteria and hydrocarbon degraders in bulk soils were primarily determined by soil salinity and water content Great abundance of rhizosphere bacteria suggested that plant roots could alleviate the stresses from soil salinization and provide more favorable microhabitats for bacterial growth. TPH had positive effects on bacterial diversity of both rhizosphere and bulk soils. Our results support the view that petroleum in the environments functions as both toxic chemicals and carbon sources to soil bacteria. Great abundance and diversity of total bacteria in plant rhizospheres would potentially improve the roles of bacteria in maintaining ecosystem functioning in the degraded ecosystems. Our results would improve our understanding of the relationships between rhizosphere effects and multiple environmental stresses that control the development of bacterial community in fragile anthropologically-affected ecosystems. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2535-2542
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number12
Early online date27 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • bacterial communities
  • diversity
  • plant rhizosphere
  • petroleum contamination
  • saline soil
  • microbial community structure
  • phragmites-australis
  • geographic location
  • salinity
  • plant
  • scale
  • sediments
  • heterogeneity
  • hydrocarbons
  • populations


Dive into the research topics of 'Rhizosphere effects on soil bacterial abundance and diversity in the Yellow River Deltaic ecosystem as influenced by petroleum contamination and soil salinization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this