Soil denitrifier community size changes with land use change to perennial bioenergy cropping systems

Dedicated biomass crops are required for future bioenergy production. However, the effects of large-scale land use change (LUC) from traditional annual crops, such as corn-soybean rotations to the perennial grasses (PGs) switchgrass and miscanthus on soil microbial community functioning is largely unknown. Specifically, ecologically significant denitrifying communities, which regulate N2O production and consumption in soils, may respond differently to LUC due to differences in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs between crop types and management systems. Our objective was to quantify bacterial denitrifying gene abundances as influenced by corn-soybean crop production compared to PG biomass production.

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