Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are the crucial players in nitrogen cycle. Both AOA and AOB were examined along a gradient of human activity in a coastal ecosystem from intertidal zone, grassland, and Casuarina equisetifolia forest to farmland. Results showed that the farmland soils had noticeably higher nitrate-N, available P than soils in the other three sites. Generally, AOA and AOB community structures varied across sites. The farmland mainly had Nitrosotalea-like AOA, intertidal zone was dominated by Nitrosopumilus AOA, while grassland and C. equisetifolia forest primarily harbored Nitrososphaera-like AOA. The farmland and C. equisetifolia forest owned Nitrosospira-like AOB, intertidal zone possessed Nitrosomonas-like AOB, and no AOB was detected in the grassland. AOA abundance was significantly greater than AOB in this coastal ecosystem (p < 0.05, n = 8). AOB diversity and abundance in the farmland were significantly higher than those in the other three sites (p < 0.05, n = 2). The biodiversity and abundance of AOA were not significantly correlated with any soil property (p < 0.05, n = 8). However, the diversity of AOB was significantly correlated with pH, available P and total P (p < 0.05, n = 6). The abundance of AOB was significantly correlated with pH, nitrite, available N, available P and total P (p < 0.05, n = 6). This study suggested that the community structures of AOA and AOB vary in the different parts in the bio-engineered coastal ecosystem and agricultural activity appears to influence these nitrifiers.
- Casuarina equisetifolia
- Human activities