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Dryad

Data from: Earthworms promote crop growth by enhancing the connections among soil microbial communities

Cite this dataset

Shi, Jin-Hua et al. (2024). Data from: Earthworms promote crop growth by enhancing the connections among soil microbial communities [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9zw3r22pm

Abstract

Earthworms benefit plant growth and play a vital role in shaping soil microbial communities. However, how earthworms modify the soil microorganisms and thus affect plant growth is still unclear. Although fertilizers alter the assembly of microbial communities, further investigations are required to test the effect of fertilizer type on the relationship between earthworms, soil microbial communities, and plants. We evaluated the role of earthworms in soil microorganisms and maize plant growth characteristics under organic or chemical fertilizers in field and greenhouse experiments. We explored the relationships between earthworms, soil microbial community, and plant growth under different fertilizer types. We found that the presence of earthworms promoted plant growth, increased the amount of plant root exudates, and enhanced the connections between rhizosphere bacterial, fungal, and protist communities. Both earthworms and fertilizer application significantly changed the structure of soil bacterial, fungal, and protist communities. The complexity of the soil microbial community network increased under organic, compared to chemical fertilizer application. The greenhouse experiment showed that the effect of earthworms on plant growth was weakened when maize plants were grown in sterilized soil under organic or chemical fertilizers.

Synthesis and applications: Our study provides solid evidence that earthworms largely depend on soil microorganisms for their effects on plants under the application of different fertilizer conditions. This may provide new insights into reducing the amounts of fertilizer used by enhancing the role of earthworms and soil microorganisms.

README: Earthworms promote crop growth by enhancing the connections among soil microbial communities

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9zw3r22pm

This is the data from: Shi et al. (2024) Earthworms promote crop growth by enhancing the connections among soil microbial communities. Accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Description of the data and file structure

The dataset contains 5 documents

1. Plant growth and soil properties under field conditions.xlsx

This file includes only one table.

Columns in the file:

(1) interpretation keys (categorical data)

Fertilizer type: fertilizer type (OF: organic fertilizer. CF: chemical fertilizer)

Treatment: sample treatment (DY-E: earthworm input in Daye site. DY-NE: non-earthworm input in Daye site. WH-E: earthworm input in Wuhan site. WH-NE: non-earthworm input in Wuhan site)

(2) units (continuous data)

Photosynthetic rate: plant photosynthetic rate (μmol·/(m2·s))

Chlorophyll content: plant chlorophyll content (arbitrary units)

Height: plant height (cm)

Stem circumference: plant stem circumference (cm)

Leaf area: plant leaf area (cm2)

Yield: plant yield (g)

100-seed weight: plant 100-seed weight (g)

Shoot biomass: plant shoot biomass (g)

Root biomass: plant root biomass (g)

Root length: plant root length (cm)

Root surface area: plant root surface area (cm2)

Root volume: plant root volume (cm3)

Total N: soil total nitrogen (g/kg)

Total C: soil total carbon (g/kg)

pH: soil pH

Moisture content: soil moisture content (%)

2. Plant growth characteristics under greenhouse conditions.xlsx

This file includes only one table.

Columns in the file:

(1) interpretation keys (categorical data)

Fertilizer type: fertilizer type (OF: organic fertilizer. CF: chemical fertilizer)

Treatment: sample treatment (DY-E: earthworm input in Daye site. DY-NE: non-earthworm input in Daye site. WH-E: earthworm input in Wuhan site. WH-NE: non-earthworm input in Wuhan site)

Soil sterilization: soil sterilization (No: normal soil with microorganisms; Yes: sterilized soil without microorganisms)

(2) units (continuous data)

Photosynthetic rate: plant photosynthetic rate (μmol·/(m2·s))

Chlorophyll content: plant chlorophyll content (arbitrary units)

Height: plant height (cm)

Stem circumference: plant stem circumference (cm)

Leaf area: plant leaf area (cm2)

Shoot biomass: plant shoot biomass (g)

Root biomass: plant root biomass (g)

3. Root exudates.xlsx

This file includes only one table.

Columns in the file:

(1) interpretation keys (categorical data)

Site: sample site (DY: Daye site. WH: Wuhan site)

Treatment: sample treatment (EOF: earthworm and organic fertilizer. OF: organic fertilizer. ECF: earthworm and chemical fertilizer. CF: chemical fertilizer)

(2) units (continuous data)

Alcohols: alcohols relative amount (of internal standard) content in root exudates

Alkane: alkane relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Amino acid: amino acid relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Fatty acid: fatty acid relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Indoles: indoles relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Organic acid: organic acid relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Phenol: phenol relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

Sugars: sugars relative amount (of internal standard) in root exudates

4. Bulk soil bacteria, fungi, and protist.xlsx

This file includes 3 tables.

Rows in each table:

(1) interpretation keys (categorical data)

Name: sample name

Treatment: sample treatment (EOF: earthworm and organic fertilizer. OF: organic fertilizer. ECF: earthworm and chemical fertilizer. CF: chemical fertilizer)

Site: field site (DY: Daye site. WH: Wuhan site)

(2) units (continuous data)

ASV number

5. Rhizosphere soil bacteria, fungi, and protist.xlsx

This file includes 3 tables.

Rows in each table:

(1) interpretation keys (categorical data)

Name: sample name

Treatment: sample treatment (EOF: earthworm and organic fertilizer. OF: organic fertilizer. ECF: earthworm and chemical fertilizer. CF: chemical fertilizer)

Site: field site (DY: Daye site. WH: Wuhan site)

(2) units (continuous data)

ASV number

Funding

National Key Research and Development Program of China

Egypt-China Cooperation Program