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Title: Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests

Abstract

Soil is a complex system where biotic (e.g., plant roots, micro-organisms) and abiotic (e.g., mineral surfaces) consumers compete for resources necessary for life (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus). This competition is ecologically significant, since it regulates the dynamics of soil nutrients and controls aboveground plant productivity. Here we develop, calibrate and test a nutrient competition model that accounts for multiple soil nutrients interacting with multiple biotic and abiotic consumers. As applied here for tropical forests, the Nutrient COMpetition model (N-COM) includes three primary soil nutrients (NH 4 +, NO 3 and PO x; representing the sum of PO 4 3−, HPO 4 2− and H 2PO 4 ) and five potential competitors (plant roots, decomposing microbes, nitrifiers, denitrifiers and mineral surfaces). The competition is formulated with a quasi-steady-state chemical equilibrium approximation to account for substrate (multiple substrates share one consumer) and consumer (multiple consumers compete for one substrate) effects. N-COM successfully reproduced observed soil heterotrophic respiration, N 2O emissions, free phosphorus, sorbed phosphorus and NH 4 + pools at a tropical forest site (Tapajos). The overall model uncertainty was moderately well constrained. Our sensitivity analysis revealed that soil nutrient competition was primarily regulated by consumer–substrate affinity rather than environmental factors suchmore » as soil temperature or soil moisture. Our results also imply that under strong nutrient limitation, relative competitiveness depends strongly on the competitor functional traits (affinity and nutrient carrier enzyme abundance). We then applied the N-COM model to analyze field nitrogen and phosphorus perturbation experiments in two tropical forest sites (in Hawaii and Puerto Rico) not used in model development or calibration. Under soil inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus elevated conditions, the model accurately replicated the experimentally observed competition among nutrient consumers. Although we used as many observations as we could obtain, more nutrient addition experiments in tropical systems would greatly benefit model testing and calibration. In summary, the N-COM model provides an ecologically consistent representation of nutrient competition appropriate for land BGC models integrated in Earth System Models.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate Sciences Dept., Earth Sciences Division
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) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1236099
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1377410
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Zhu, Q., Riley, W. J., Tang, J., and Koven, C. D. Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-13-341-2016.
Zhu, Q., Riley, W. J., Tang, J., & Koven, C. D. Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-13-341-2016.
Zhu, Q., Riley, W. J., Tang, J., and Koven, C. D. Mon . "Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-13-341-2016.
@article{osti_1236099,
title = {Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests},
author = {Zhu, Q. and Riley, W. J. and Tang, J. and Koven, C. D.},
abstractNote = {Soil is a complex system where biotic (e.g., plant roots, micro-organisms) and abiotic (e.g., mineral surfaces) consumers compete for resources necessary for life (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus). This competition is ecologically significant, since it regulates the dynamics of soil nutrients and controls aboveground plant productivity. Here we develop, calibrate and test a nutrient competition model that accounts for multiple soil nutrients interacting with multiple biotic and abiotic consumers. As applied here for tropical forests, the Nutrient COMpetition model (N-COM) includes three primary soil nutrients (NH4+, NO3− and POx; representing the sum of PO43−, HPO42− and H2PO4−) and five potential competitors (plant roots, decomposing microbes, nitrifiers, denitrifiers and mineral surfaces). The competition is formulated with a quasi-steady-state chemical equilibrium approximation to account for substrate (multiple substrates share one consumer) and consumer (multiple consumers compete for one substrate) effects. N-COM successfully reproduced observed soil heterotrophic respiration, N2O emissions, free phosphorus, sorbed phosphorus and NH4+ pools at a tropical forest site (Tapajos). The overall model uncertainty was moderately well constrained. Our sensitivity analysis revealed that soil nutrient competition was primarily regulated by consumer–substrate affinity rather than environmental factors such as soil temperature or soil moisture. Our results also imply that under strong nutrient limitation, relative competitiveness depends strongly on the competitor functional traits (affinity and nutrient carrier enzyme abundance). We then applied the N-COM model to analyze field nitrogen and phosphorus perturbation experiments in two tropical forest sites (in Hawaii and Puerto Rico) not used in model development or calibration. Under soil inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus elevated conditions, the model accurately replicated the experimentally observed competition among nutrient consumers. Although we used as many observations as we could obtain, more nutrient addition experiments in tropical systems would greatly benefit model testing and calibration. In summary, the N-COM model provides an ecologically consistent representation of nutrient competition appropriate for land BGC models integrated in Earth System Models.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-13-341-2016},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-341-2016

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Cited by: 14 works
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