loading page

Ecological network analysis assesses the restoration success of disturbed mining soil in China
  • +2
  • Jing Ma,
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Ollauri,
  • Qi Zhang,
  • Dong Xiao,
  • Fu Chen
Jing Ma
China University of Mining and Technology
Author Profile
Alejandro Gonzalez Ollauri
Glasgow Caledonian University
Author Profile
Qi Zhang
China University of Mining and Technology
Author Profile
Dong Xiao
China University of Mining and Technology
Author Profile
Fu Chen
China University of Mining and Technology
Author Profile

Abstract

Understanding the interactions among soil microbial species and how they respond to land reclamation is essential to evaluate the success of ecological restoration actions in disturbed mining soil. In this study, we strived to reveal the interactions among soil bacterial communities along the reclamation timeline of a coal mine in Zoucheng, China. To do so, we investigated changes in the composition of soil bacterial over time and constructed molecular ecological networks (i.e. microbial network) following mining soil reclamation into agricultural land. The relationships between microbial networks and selected soil attributes (i.e. soil pH, electric conductivity, organic matter, soil nutrients and enzymatic activities) were also analyzed. The results showed that the composition of soil bacteria changed significantly along the reclamation timeline. The microbial network profile revealed that Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes and Proteobacteria were the key microbial populations. Soil pH, soil organic matter content, soil dehydrogenase and urease activities were significantly correlated (0.001 ≤ P < 0.05) with the microbial network structure, suggesting that the microbial networks found influenced the provision of relevant soil ecological functions after reclamation. The variation in complexity of the microbial networks along the reclamation timeline revealed that microbial development was promoted by the shift in land use from mining into agriculture. Overall, our findings shed light on how soil microbial communities and networks change following mine reclamation into agricultural land. The results presented herein will undoubtedly aid in the establishment of success indicators of ecological restoration activities in disturbed mining soil.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

26 Jan 2021Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
27 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
27 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
07 Feb 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned