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Title: Above and belowground connections and species interactions: Controls over ecosystem fluxes

Abstract

The ultimate goal of this work was to quantify soil and volatile organic compound fluxes as a function of tree species and associated mycorrhizal associations in an intact forest, but also to describe the physical and biological factors that control these emissions. The results of this research lay the foundation toward an improved mechanistic understanding of carbon pathways, fluxes, and ecosystem function, ultimately improving the representation of forest ecosystems in Earth System models. To this end, a multidisciplinary approach was necessary to fill a critical gap in our understanding of how soil and root processes may influence whole-ecosystem carbon-based volatile fluxes in the face of a rapidly changing climate. We developed a series of novel sampling protocols and coupled a variety of advanced analytical techniques, resulting in findings relevant across disciplines. Furthermore, we leveraged existing infrastructure, research sites, and datasets to design a low-cost exploratory project that links belowground processes, soil volatile emissions, and total ecosystem carbon budgets. Measurements from soil collars installed across a species/mycorrhizal gradient at the DOE-supported Moran Monroe State Forest Ameriflux tower site suggest that leaf litter is the primary source of belowground and forest floor volatile emissions, but the strength of this source is significantlymore » affected not only by leaf litter type, but the strength of the soil as a sink. Results suggest that the strength of the sink is influenced by tree species-specific associated microbial communities that change throughout the season as a function of temperature, soil moisture, leaf litter inputs, and phenology. The magnitude of the observed volatile fluxes from the forest floor is small relative to total aboveground ecosystem flux, but the contribution of these emissions to volatile-mediated ecological interactions and soil processes (e.g. nitrification) varies substantially across the growing season. This research lays the foundation to answer important questions regarding the impacts of seasonality and forest composition on belowground volatile source-sink dynamics in mediating nutrient cycling and biogeochemistry dynamics—critical components of overall ecosystem functioning. In collaboration with the Environmental Simulations Unit (EUS) at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany (headed by Prof. Dr. Joerg-Peter Schinitzler), we investigated carbon investment in above and belowground plant volatile compounds in response to environmental conditions and mycorrhizal associations. Using the sophisticated phytotron facility and on-line trace gas instruments, we conducted controlled laboratory experiments that showed that biotic stresses, such as herbivore feeding, can alter the magnitude of belowground volatile emissions as well as carbon allocation towards these volatiles. We saw no effect of mycorrhizae on any induced response, suggesting that microbial effects were unrelated to source-sink dynamics driving terpene emissions. Furthermore, the results suggest that even though enzyme activity responsible for root volatile synthesis is up-regulated following herbivory, the sink strength of the soil can significantly impact what is measured at the soil/atmosphere interface and thereby what enters the atmosphere. This is important as scientists may be underestimating the magnitude of belowground volatile emissions and their influence on belowground interactions due to limitations associated with current sampling techniques. These key findings are being integrated with results from a hydroxyl radical reactivity-VOC campaign and a late season litter removal experiment to offer a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of the sources and controls over soil volatile emissions, particularly during times of the year when vegetative aboveground emissions are low (leaf senescence). Ultimately, these coupled field and laboratory experiments offer insights into seasonal dynamics of volatile emissions and the mechanisms that control carbon allocation to these compounds with an eye towards improving carbon budgets, nutrient cycling, and terrestrial ecosystem models.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT (United States)
  2. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hyperspectives, Inc., Honolulu, HI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Org.:
Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen
OSTI Identifier:
1333888
Report Number(s):
DOE-HYPER-0000749
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0010845
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; arbuscular mycorrhizae; ectomycorrhizae; plant-microbe interactions; surface-atmosphere exchange; volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Citation Formats

Trowbridge, Amy Marie, Phillips, Richard, and Stoy, Paul Christopher. Above and belowground connections and species interactions: Controls over ecosystem fluxes. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1333888.
Trowbridge, Amy Marie, Phillips, Richard, & Stoy, Paul Christopher. Above and belowground connections and species interactions: Controls over ecosystem fluxes. United States. doi:10.2172/1333888.
Trowbridge, Amy Marie, Phillips, Richard, and Stoy, Paul Christopher. Tue . "Above and belowground connections and species interactions: Controls over ecosystem fluxes". United States. doi:10.2172/1333888. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1333888.
@article{osti_1333888,
title = {Above and belowground connections and species interactions: Controls over ecosystem fluxes},
author = {Trowbridge, Amy Marie and Phillips, Richard and Stoy, Paul Christopher},
abstractNote = {The ultimate goal of this work was to quantify soil and volatile organic compound fluxes as a function of tree species and associated mycorrhizal associations in an intact forest, but also to describe the physical and biological factors that control these emissions. The results of this research lay the foundation toward an improved mechanistic understanding of carbon pathways, fluxes, and ecosystem function, ultimately improving the representation of forest ecosystems in Earth System models. To this end, a multidisciplinary approach was necessary to fill a critical gap in our understanding of how soil and root processes may influence whole-ecosystem carbon-based volatile fluxes in the face of a rapidly changing climate. We developed a series of novel sampling protocols and coupled a variety of advanced analytical techniques, resulting in findings relevant across disciplines. Furthermore, we leveraged existing infrastructure, research sites, and datasets to design a low-cost exploratory project that links belowground processes, soil volatile emissions, and total ecosystem carbon budgets. Measurements from soil collars installed across a species/mycorrhizal gradient at the DOE-supported Moran Monroe State Forest Ameriflux tower site suggest that leaf litter is the primary source of belowground and forest floor volatile emissions, but the strength of this source is significantly affected not only by leaf litter type, but the strength of the soil as a sink. Results suggest that the strength of the sink is influenced by tree species-specific associated microbial communities that change throughout the season as a function of temperature, soil moisture, leaf litter inputs, and phenology. The magnitude of the observed volatile fluxes from the forest floor is small relative to total aboveground ecosystem flux, but the contribution of these emissions to volatile-mediated ecological interactions and soil processes (e.g. nitrification) varies substantially across the growing season. This research lays the foundation to answer important questions regarding the impacts of seasonality and forest composition on belowground volatile source-sink dynamics in mediating nutrient cycling and biogeochemistry dynamics—critical components of overall ecosystem functioning. In collaboration with the Environmental Simulations Unit (EUS) at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany (headed by Prof. Dr. Joerg-Peter Schinitzler), we investigated carbon investment in above and belowground plant volatile compounds in response to environmental conditions and mycorrhizal associations. Using the sophisticated phytotron facility and on-line trace gas instruments, we conducted controlled laboratory experiments that showed that biotic stresses, such as herbivore feeding, can alter the magnitude of belowground volatile emissions as well as carbon allocation towards these volatiles. We saw no effect of mycorrhizae on any induced response, suggesting that microbial effects were unrelated to source-sink dynamics driving terpene emissions. Furthermore, the results suggest that even though enzyme activity responsible for root volatile synthesis is up-regulated following herbivory, the sink strength of the soil can significantly impact what is measured at the soil/atmosphere interface and thereby what enters the atmosphere. This is important as scientists may be underestimating the magnitude of belowground volatile emissions and their influence on belowground interactions due to limitations associated with current sampling techniques. These key findings are being integrated with results from a hydroxyl radical reactivity-VOC campaign and a late season litter removal experiment to offer a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of the sources and controls over soil volatile emissions, particularly during times of the year when vegetative aboveground emissions are low (leaf senescence). Ultimately, these coupled field and laboratory experiments offer insights into seasonal dynamics of volatile emissions and the mechanisms that control carbon allocation to these compounds with an eye towards improving carbon budgets, nutrient cycling, and terrestrial ecosystem models.},
doi = {10.2172/1333888},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {11}
}