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Acta Prataculturae Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (4): 102-112.DOI: 10.11686/cyxb2021078

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Changes in soil fungal community structure under bermudagrass turf in response to traffic stress

Hong-jian WEI(), Jie DING, Ju-ming ZHANG, Wen YANG, Yong-qi WANG, Tian-zeng LIU()   

  1. College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture,Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Grassland Science,South China Agricultural University,Guangzhou 510642,China
  • Received:2021-03-01 Revised:2021-04-12 Online:2022-04-20 Published:2022-01-25
  • Contact: Tian-zeng LIU


In China, lawn sports grounds are regularly overused. Changes in the community structure of soil fungi can affect the growth, maintenance, and restoration of lawns. The aim of this study, therefore, was to explore the changes in soil fungal community structure change under turf in response to traffic stress. Common bermudagrass turf and Tifgreen bermudagrass turf were subjected to a traffic treatment of moderate intensity applied with a traffic simulator, and various factors including aboveground biomass, underground biomass, turf quality, soil pH, and soil hardness were measured. The relationships between soil fungal community diversity and environmental factors were determined. The results show that soil hardness and biomass were significantly higher in the no-traffic treatments than in the traffic treatments (P<0.05). There were differences in fungal community diversity between the no-traffic and traffic treatments. At the phylum level, the relative abundance of Ascomycota was increased and of Basidiomycota was decreased in soils in the traffic treatments. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Trechispora was higher in the traffic treatments than in the no-traffic treatments. The genus with the highest relative abundance in the traffic treatments was Curvularia. Non-metric multidimensional scaling analyses showed that traffic stress and variety differences were the main factors affecting soil fungal community structure, with traffic stress being the most important factor. As determined using the linear discriminant analysis effect size algorithm, the top five fungal groups showing significant differences in abundance between the two bermudagrass cultivars were Ascomycota, Dothideomycetes, Pleosporales, Pleosporaceae and Curvularia in the traffic treatments; And Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes, Trechisporales, Hydnodontaceaeand Trechispora in the no-traffic treatments. A redundancy analysis revealed a significant correlation between the diversity of the soil fungal community structure and environmental factors, with the main influencing factors being aboveground biomass, underground biomass, and soil pH. Traffic stress significantly affected the attributes of the turf, and the diversity of soil fungal community structure. Some attributes of the turf were significantly correlated with the diversity of the soil fungal community structure (P<0.05). Ascomycota play a dominant role in the soil fungal community, and could be used as an indicator of a traffic-stressed lawn. The results of this study provide a theoretical basis for the management and conservation of turfgrass in southern China.

Key words: traffic stress, bermudagrass, soil fungi, diversity