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Title: Rapid Shifts in Soil Nutrients and Decomposition Enzyme Activity in Early Succession Following Forest Fire

In post-disturbance landscapes nutrient availability has proven a major control on ecological succession. In this study, we examined variation in connections between soil nutrient availability and decomposition extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) across post fire secondary succession in forest soils as well as after a secondary flood disturbance. We also examined possible linkages between edaphic properties and bacterial communities based on 16S rRNA gene analysis. We found that with advancing succession in a post-fire landscape, the relationship between soil nutrients and EEA became stronger over time. In general, late successional soils showed stronger connections between EEA and soil nutrient status, while early successional soils were marked by a complete decoupling of nutrients and EEA. We also found that soil moisture and bacterial communities of post-fire disturbance soils were susceptible to change following the secondary flood disturbance, while undisturbed, reference forest soils were not. Our results demonstrate that nutrient pools correlating with EEA change over time. While past work has largely focused on ecosystem succession on decadal timescales, our work suggests that nutrients shift in their relative importance as a control of decomposition EEA in the earliest stages of secondary succession. Furthermore, this work emphasizes the relevance of successional stage, even onmore » short timescales, in predicting rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling, especially as disturbances become more frequent in a rapidly changing world.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [6] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  3. New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM (United States)
  4. Univ. de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest (France)
  5. The Univ. of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX (United States)
  6. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1999-4907
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1999-4907
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon; decomposition; disturbance; ecosystem process; extracellular enzymes; exoenzymes; forest fire; nitrogen; soil enzymes; succession
OSTI Identifier: