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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 480170, 9 pages
Research Article

Safe-Site Effects on Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment

1Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Piazza Università 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy

Received 2 April 2014; Accepted 14 May 2014; Published 4 June 2014

Academic Editor: George Tsiamis

Copyright © 2014 Sonia Ciccazzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites) which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS) site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value ( ) on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences ( ) between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.