Changes in soil microbial community structure by Allonychiurus kimi (Collembola) and their interactive effects on glyphosate degradation

June Wee, Jino Son, Yun Sik Lee, Yongeun Kim, Seunghun Hyun, Kijong Cho

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Collembolans have been known to be involved in various soil ecosystem functions. However, the role of Collembola in organic contaminant degradation has not been sufficiently elucidated to assess its contribution. In this study, varying densities of Allonychiurus kimi (Lee, 1973) (0, 10, and 30 individuals per 30 g of soil) were introduced into glyphosate-contaminated soils (74.1 mg glyphosate kg−1 soil). This study investigated changes in the microbial community and the residual glyphosate concentration in soils over incubation time to elucidate the effects of A. kimi on the glyphosate degradation through its influence on the microbial community. Furthermore, the investigation was conducted in soils collected in May and September 2018 to assess the contribution of A. kimi to glyphosate degradation in soils with varying microbial compositions and biomass. Autoclaved soil was used as a control to minimize the influence of indigenous soil microorganisms on glyphosate degradation. We hypothesize that as the initial density of A. kimi increases, the effects of A. kimi on the soil microbial community become pronounced, altering the degradation kinetics of glyphosate in the soil. The composition and biomass of the soil microorganisms were quantified using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method. Our study determined that the presence of A. kimi altered the microbial community structure by increasing the bacterial and total microbial, but not fungal, biomass. After seven days of treatment, the bacterial and total microbial biomass in the treatment with A. kimi were >2.0-fold and 1.5-fold greater, respectively, compared to those in the treatments without A. kimi. Specifically, the concentration of PLFA 18:1ω7c, i15:0, and 16:1ω7c was positively correlated with A. kimi density. The residual glyphosate concentration decreased exponentially over time as A. kimi density increased. At the end of the experiment, the remaining portions (%) of glyphosate in the May soil samples were 26.3, 20.1, and 6.2, with A. kimi densities of 0, 10, and 30 per vessel, respectively, and the portions in the September soil samples were 13.4, 12.7, and 2.2, respectively. The DT50s (time required for 50 % degradation) decreased significantly with increasing A. kimi density, ranging from 6.8 to 10.1 days at an A. kimi density of 30 to 12.9–19.4 days without A. kimi. However, in the autoclaved soil, a similar effect was not apparent (i.e., DT50s ranged from 23.3 to 27.4 days). Our study demonstrated that Collembola can enhance organic contaminant degradation in soils by altering the microbial community structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105112
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education ( 2022R1I1A1A01073001 ) and the Korea government ( MSIT ) ( NRF-2022R1A2C1011508 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Glyphosate-based herbicide
  • Interaction
  • Organic contaminants
  • PLFA
  • Soil processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Soil Science


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