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Abstract In most ecosystems, the degradation of complex organic material depends on extracellu-
 

Summary: Abstract In most ecosystems, the degradation of
complex organic material depends on extracellu-
lar enzymes produced by microbes. These en-
zymes can exist in bound or free form within the
soil, but the dynamics of these different enzyme
pools remain uncertain. To address this uncer-
tainty, I determined rates of enzyme turnover in a
volcanic soil with and without added enzymes. I
also tested whether or not soil minerals and hu-
mic acids would alter enzyme activity. In soils that
were gamma-irradiated to stop enzyme produc-
tion, 35­70% of the enzyme activity was stable
throughout the 21-day incubation. The remaining
enzyme fraction decayed at rates ranging from ­
0.032 to ­ 0.628 day­1
. In both the irradiated soils
and in soils with added enzymes, addition of the
mineral allophane had a strong positive effect on
most enzyme activities. Another added mineral,
ferrihydrite, had a weak positive effect on some

  

Source: Allison, Steven D. - Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology