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Title: A comparison of lodgepole and spruce needle chemistry impacts on terrestrial biogeochemical processes during isolated decomposition

Abstract

This study investigates the isolated decomposition of spruce and lodgepole conifer needles to enhance our understanding of how needle litter impacts near-surface terrestrial biogeochemical processes. Harvested needles were exported to a subalpine meadow to enable a discrete analysis of the decomposition processes over 2 years. Initial chemistry revealed the lodgepole needles to be less recalcitrant with a lower carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio. Total C and N fundamentally shifted within needle species over time with decreased C:N ratios for spruce and increased ratios for lodgepole. Differences in chemistry correlated with CO 2 production and soil microbial communities. The most pronounced trends were associated with lodgepole needles in comparison to the spruce and needle-free controls. Increased organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations associated with needle presence in soil extractions further corroborate the results with clear biogeochemical signatures in association with needle chemistry. Interestingly, no clear differentiation was observed as a function of bark beetle impacted spruce needles vs those derived from healthy spruce trees despite initial differences in needle chemistry. These results reveal that the inherent chemistry associated with tree species has a greater impact on soil biogeochemical signatures during isolated needle decomposition. By extension, biogeochemical shifts associated with bark beetle infestationmore » are likely driven more by changes such as the cessation of rhizospheric processes than by needle litter decomposition.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Rocky Mountain Biological Lab., Crested Butte, CO (United States)
  4. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Rocky Mountain Biological Lab., Crested Butte, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1659701
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; SC0016451
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
PeerJ
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2167-8359
Publisher:
PeerJ Inc.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Soil biogeochemistry; Needle Decomposition; Nutrient Cycling; Soil Respiration; Bark Beetle Disturbance; Lodgepole; Spruce

Citation Formats

Leonard, Laura T., Mikkelson, Kristin, Hao, Zhao, Brodie, Eoin L., Williams, Kenneth H., and Sharp, Jonathan O. A comparison of lodgepole and spruce needle chemistry impacts on terrestrial biogeochemical processes during isolated decomposition. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.7717/peerj.9538.
Leonard, Laura T., Mikkelson, Kristin, Hao, Zhao, Brodie, Eoin L., Williams, Kenneth H., & Sharp, Jonathan O. A comparison of lodgepole and spruce needle chemistry impacts on terrestrial biogeochemical processes during isolated decomposition. United States. doi:10.7717/peerj.9538.
Leonard, Laura T., Mikkelson, Kristin, Hao, Zhao, Brodie, Eoin L., Williams, Kenneth H., and Sharp, Jonathan O. Thu . "A comparison of lodgepole and spruce needle chemistry impacts on terrestrial biogeochemical processes during isolated decomposition". United States. doi:10.7717/peerj.9538. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1659701.
@article{osti_1659701,
title = {A comparison of lodgepole and spruce needle chemistry impacts on terrestrial biogeochemical processes during isolated decomposition},
author = {Leonard, Laura T. and Mikkelson, Kristin and Hao, Zhao and Brodie, Eoin L. and Williams, Kenneth H. and Sharp, Jonathan O.},
abstractNote = {This study investigates the isolated decomposition of spruce and lodgepole conifer needles to enhance our understanding of how needle litter impacts near-surface terrestrial biogeochemical processes. Harvested needles were exported to a subalpine meadow to enable a discrete analysis of the decomposition processes over 2 years. Initial chemistry revealed the lodgepole needles to be less recalcitrant with a lower carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio. Total C and N fundamentally shifted within needle species over time with decreased C:N ratios for spruce and increased ratios for lodgepole. Differences in chemistry correlated with CO2 production and soil microbial communities. The most pronounced trends were associated with lodgepole needles in comparison to the spruce and needle-free controls. Increased organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations associated with needle presence in soil extractions further corroborate the results with clear biogeochemical signatures in association with needle chemistry. Interestingly, no clear differentiation was observed as a function of bark beetle impacted spruce needles vs those derived from healthy spruce trees despite initial differences in needle chemistry. These results reveal that the inherent chemistry associated with tree species has a greater impact on soil biogeochemical signatures during isolated needle decomposition. By extension, biogeochemical shifts associated with bark beetle infestation are likely driven more by changes such as the cessation of rhizospheric processes than by needle litter decomposition.},
doi = {10.7717/peerj.9538},
journal = {PeerJ},
issn = {2167-8359},
number = ,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
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