Riparian land-use systems impact soil microbial communities and nitrous oxide emissions in an agro-ecosystem
Riparian buffer systems are considered a best management practice in agricultural landscapes to intercept nutrient leaching and surface runoff into aquatic ecosystems. However, these environmental benefits could be offset by increased greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrous oxide (N2O), which are mediated by soil microbial communities. This study was conducted to determine the abundance and diversity of microbial communities and functional genes associated with N2O emissions in different riparian land-use. Bacterial abundance was highest in an undisturbed, naturalized forest, and lowest on adjacent agricultural land. However, the agricultural site had the most ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, indicating that nitrification is highest at this site. A rehabilitated site and grass buffer site had the highest amount of the nosZ gene, demonstrating the capacity for complete denitrification at these sites, lowering measured N2O.