Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Drought Affect Soil Microbial Community and Functional Diversity Associated with Glycine max

<div><p>Abstract Under the background of climate change, the increase of atmospheric CO2 and drought frequency have been considered as significant influencers on the soil microbial communities and the yield and quality of crop. In this study, impacts of increased ambient CO2 and drought on soil microbial structure and functional diversity of a Stagnic Anthrosol were investigated in phytotron growth chambers, by testing two representative CO2 levels, three soil moisture levels, and two soil cover types (with or without Glycine max). The 16S rDNA and 18S rDNA fragments were amplified to analyze the functional diversity of fungi and bacteria. Results showed that rhizosphere microbial biomass and community structure were significantly affected by drought, but effects differed between fungi and bacteria. Drought adaptation of fungi was found to be easier than that of bacteria. The diversity of fungi was less affected by drought than that of bacteria, evidenced by their higher diversity. Severe drought reduced soil microbial functional diversity and restrained the metabolic activity. Elevated CO2 alone, in the absence of crops (bare soil), did not enhance the metabolic activity of soil microorganisms. Generally, due to the co-functioning of plant and soil microorganisms in water and nutrient use, plants have major impacts on the soil microbial community, leading to atmospheric CO2 enrichment, but cannot significantly reduce the impacts of drought on soil microorganisms.</p></div>