Front Microbiol. 2022 Jul 14;13:856355. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.856355. eCollection 2022.
Soil microorganisms play vital roles in energy flow and soil nutrient cycling and, thus, are important for crop production. A detailed understanding of the complex responses of microbial communities to diverse organic manure and chemical fertilizers (CFs) is crucial for agroecosystem sustainability. However, little is known about the response of soil fungal communities and soil nutrients to manure and CFs, especially under double-rice cropping systems. In this study, we investigated the effects of the application of combined manure and CFs to various fertilization strategies, such as no N fertilizer (Neg-CF); 100% chemical fertilizer (Pos-CF); 60% cattle manure (CM) + 40% CF (high-CM); 30% CM + 70% CF (low-CM); 60% poultry manure (PM) + 40% CF (high-PM), and 30% PM + 70% CF (low-PM) on soil fungal communities’ structure and diversity, soil environmental variables, and rice yield. Results showed that synthetic fertilizer plus manure addition significantly increased the soil fertility and rice grain yield compared to sole CFs’ application. Moreover, the addition of manure significantly changed the soil fungal community structure and increased the relative abundance of fungi such as phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, and Rozellomycota. The relative abundances dramatically differed at each taxonomic level, especially between manured and non-manured regimes. Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) exhibited greater impacts of the addition of manure amendments than CFs on fungal community distributions. Redundancy analysis showed that the dominant fungal phyla were positively correlated with soil pH, soil organic C (SOC), total N, and microbial biomass C, and the fungal community structure was strongly affected by SOC. Network analysis explored positive relationships between microorganisms and could increase their adaptability in relevant environments. In addition, the structural equation model (SEM) shows the relationship between microbial biomass, soil nutrients, and rice grain yield. The SEM showed that soil nutrient contents and their availability directly affect rice grain yield, while soil fungi indirectly affect grain yield through microbial biomass production and nutrient levels. Our results suggest that manure application combined with CFs altered soil biochemical traits and soil fungal community structure and counteracted some of the adverse effects of the synthetic fertilizer. Overall, the findings of this research suggest that the integrated application of CF and manure is a better approach for improving soil health and rice yield.