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Title: Simple measurements in a complex system: soil community responses to nitrogen amendment in a Pinus taeda forest

Abstract

Microorganisms regulate the decomposition of soil organic matter and the flow of plant–available nutrients. In a temperate pine forest in North Carolina, USA, where nitrogen (N) had been experimentally added for eight years, we combined DNA–based measures of fungal and bacterial biomass and composition with measures of seven extracellular enzymes (ecoenzymes). These measures were then correlated with soil chemistry. Our goals were to evaluate the relative sensitivity and repeatability of multiple structural and functional measures of community organization to long–term N deposition. Measurements were conducted at three litter/soil depths, corresponding to the litter, Oa, and mineral A horizons (max depth 10 cm) with ten spatial replicates per experimental plot. Soil chemistry differed significantly with soil depth and N amendment. Total biomass (soil DNA), as well as fungal and bacterial biomass (measured by qPCR), was greatest in the litter horizon and declined significantly with depth. Ecoenzyme activity patterns also changed with soil depth, transitioning from high levels of C, N, and P metabolizing activities in the litter horizon to increased oxidative activities at the lower depth. Under N amendment, soil pH decreased and nitrate concentrations increased in all three soil horizons. Correspondingly, the estimated microbial C use efficiency decreased in N–amendedmore » soils at all depths, despite differences in microbial biomass, community composition, and soil chemistry. Overall, bacterial composition was most responsive to nitrogen amendment, but the taxonomic context of the response varied with soil horizons in conjunction with shifts in soil chemistry and enzyme activities. While a single measure that would incorporate all of the C, N, and P metabolizing activities did not emerge, many measures correlated with each other, and/or with depth and/or N amendment.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1505642
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1505643; OSTI ID: 1525839
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-23932
Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Ecosphere
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Biological Science; carbon use efficiency; extracellular ecoenzymes; N amendment; ribosomal RNA genes; soil bacterial community; soil carbon cycling; soil fungal community; soil microbiome; temperate pine forest

Citation Formats

Kuske, Cheryl Rae, Sinsabaugh, Robert L., Gallegos‐Graves, La Verne, Albright, Michaeline Burr Nelson, Mueller, Rebecca, and Dunbar, John Martin. Simple measurements in a complex system: soil community responses to nitrogen amendment in a Pinus taeda forest. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2687.
Kuske, Cheryl Rae, Sinsabaugh, Robert L., Gallegos‐Graves, La Verne, Albright, Michaeline Burr Nelson, Mueller, Rebecca, & Dunbar, John Martin. Simple measurements in a complex system: soil community responses to nitrogen amendment in a Pinus taeda forest. United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2687.
Kuske, Cheryl Rae, Sinsabaugh, Robert L., Gallegos‐Graves, La Verne, Albright, Michaeline Burr Nelson, Mueller, Rebecca, and Dunbar, John Martin. Fri . "Simple measurements in a complex system: soil community responses to nitrogen amendment in a Pinus taeda forest". United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2687.
@article{osti_1505642,
title = {Simple measurements in a complex system: soil community responses to nitrogen amendment in a Pinus taeda forest},
author = {Kuske, Cheryl Rae and Sinsabaugh, Robert L. and Gallegos‐Graves, La Verne and Albright, Michaeline Burr Nelson and Mueller, Rebecca and Dunbar, John Martin},
abstractNote = {Microorganisms regulate the decomposition of soil organic matter and the flow of plant–available nutrients. In a temperate pine forest in North Carolina, USA, where nitrogen (N) had been experimentally added for eight years, we combined DNA–based measures of fungal and bacterial biomass and composition with measures of seven extracellular enzymes (ecoenzymes). These measures were then correlated with soil chemistry. Our goals were to evaluate the relative sensitivity and repeatability of multiple structural and functional measures of community organization to long–term N deposition. Measurements were conducted at three litter/soil depths, corresponding to the litter, Oa, and mineral A horizons (max depth 10 cm) with ten spatial replicates per experimental plot. Soil chemistry differed significantly with soil depth and N amendment. Total biomass (soil DNA), as well as fungal and bacterial biomass (measured by qPCR), was greatest in the litter horizon and declined significantly with depth. Ecoenzyme activity patterns also changed with soil depth, transitioning from high levels of C, N, and P metabolizing activities in the litter horizon to increased oxidative activities at the lower depth. Under N amendment, soil pH decreased and nitrate concentrations increased in all three soil horizons. Correspondingly, the estimated microbial C use efficiency decreased in N–amended soils at all depths, despite differences in microbial biomass, community composition, and soil chemistry. Overall, bacterial composition was most responsive to nitrogen amendment, but the taxonomic context of the response varied with soil horizons in conjunction with shifts in soil chemistry and enzyme activities. While a single measure that would incorporate all of the C, N, and P metabolizing activities did not emerge, many measures correlated with each other, and/or with depth and/or N amendment.},
doi = {10.1002/ecs2.2687},
journal = {Ecosphere},
number = 4,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2687

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