Fungal community composition in soils subjected to long-term chemical fertilization is most influenced by the type of organic matter. Academic Article uri icon


  • Organic matter application is a widely used practice to increase soil carbon content and maintain soil fertility. However, little is known about the effect of different types of organic matter, or the input of exogenous species from these materials, on soil fungal communities. In this study, fungal community composition was characterized from soils amended with three types of organic matter over a 30-year fertilization experiment. Chemical fertilization significantly changed soil fungal community composition and structure, which was exacerbated by the addition of organic matter, with the direction of change influenced by the type of organic matter used. The addition of organic matter significantly increased soil fungal richness, with the greatest richness achieved in soils amended with pig manure. Importantly, following addition of cow and pig manure, fungal taxa associated with these materials could be found in the soil, suggesting that these exogenous species can augment soil fungal composition. Moreover, the addition of organic matter decreased the relative abundance of potential pathogenic fungi. Overall, these results indicate that organic matter addition influences the composition and structure of soil fungal communities in predictable ways.

publication date

  • December 2016