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Title: Soil Oxygen Limits Microbial Phosphorus Utilization in Humid Tropical Forest Soils

Abstract

Soil phosphorus (P) availability is of special interest in many humid tropical forests, especially those on highly weathered, iron (Fe)- and aluminum (Al)-rich soils where P often limits net primary productivity. Phosphorus cycling is partly dependent on the ability of microbes to compete for P with Fe and Al minerals, which strongly bind P. Soil P availability is also indirectly affected by soil redox conditions due to its effects on microbial activity and reductive dissolution of Fe oxides that may weaken Fe-O-P sorption strength. Here, we explored P sorption, soil Fe (II) concentrations, soil CO2 production, organic and inorganic P pools, and microbial biomass P in tropical soils that typically experience frequent low redox (valley soils), or fluctuating redox conditions (slope soils). Soils from both topographic positions were pre-incubated under oxic or anoxic headspaces and then amended with a mixture of P (as orthophosphate) and carbon (C, as acetate, to maintain microbial activity) and incubated in the dark for 24 h. Phosphorus sorption to the mineral phase occurred on a time scale of seconds to minutes in valley and slope soils, reflecting strong abiotic P sorption capacity. Valley soils were characterized by inherently higher Fe(II) concentrations and lower respiration rates.more » Under anoxic headspaces, Fe(II) concentrations increased 3-to 5-fold in the both soils. Soil respiration and microbial P utilization declined significantly in both soils under anoxic conditions, regardless of Fe(II) concentrations. Microbial P concentrations were highest when slope soils were incubated under an oxic headspace, despite the high P sorption under these conditions. Our results suggest that microbial P utilization is indirectly limited by low O2 availability and that microbes are able to effectively compete with minerals for P under Fe-oxidizing conditions. These results emphasize the central role of soil microorganisms in regulating P availability, even in the presence of strong abiotic sorption capacity.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Ben Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beer-Sheva (Israel). Dept. for Geography and Environmental Development
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Physical and Life Sciences Directorate
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1513130
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-738829
Journal ID: ISSN 2571-8789; 892108
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Soil Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2571-8789
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; phosphorus availability; microbial biomass; tropical soils; iron reduction; anoxic conditions

Citation Formats

Gross, Avner, Pett-Ridge, Jennifer, and Silver, Whendee. Soil Oxygen Limits Microbial Phosphorus Utilization in Humid Tropical Forest Soils. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3390/soilsystems2040065.
Gross, Avner, Pett-Ridge, Jennifer, & Silver, Whendee. Soil Oxygen Limits Microbial Phosphorus Utilization in Humid Tropical Forest Soils. United States. doi:10.3390/soilsystems2040065.
Gross, Avner, Pett-Ridge, Jennifer, and Silver, Whendee. Thu . "Soil Oxygen Limits Microbial Phosphorus Utilization in Humid Tropical Forest Soils". United States. doi:10.3390/soilsystems2040065. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1513130.
@article{osti_1513130,
title = {Soil Oxygen Limits Microbial Phosphorus Utilization in Humid Tropical Forest Soils},
author = {Gross, Avner and Pett-Ridge, Jennifer and Silver, Whendee},
abstractNote = {Soil phosphorus (P) availability is of special interest in many humid tropical forests, especially those on highly weathered, iron (Fe)- and aluminum (Al)-rich soils where P often limits net primary productivity. Phosphorus cycling is partly dependent on the ability of microbes to compete for P with Fe and Al minerals, which strongly bind P. Soil P availability is also indirectly affected by soil redox conditions due to its effects on microbial activity and reductive dissolution of Fe oxides that may weaken Fe-O-P sorption strength. Here, we explored P sorption, soil Fe (II) concentrations, soil CO2 production, organic and inorganic P pools, and microbial biomass P in tropical soils that typically experience frequent low redox (valley soils), or fluctuating redox conditions (slope soils). Soils from both topographic positions were pre-incubated under oxic or anoxic headspaces and then amended with a mixture of P (as orthophosphate) and carbon (C, as acetate, to maintain microbial activity) and incubated in the dark for 24 h. Phosphorus sorption to the mineral phase occurred on a time scale of seconds to minutes in valley and slope soils, reflecting strong abiotic P sorption capacity. Valley soils were characterized by inherently higher Fe(II) concentrations and lower respiration rates. Under anoxic headspaces, Fe(II) concentrations increased 3-to 5-fold in the both soils. Soil respiration and microbial P utilization declined significantly in both soils under anoxic conditions, regardless of Fe(II) concentrations. Microbial P concentrations were highest when slope soils were incubated under an oxic headspace, despite the high P sorption under these conditions. Our results suggest that microbial P utilization is indirectly limited by low O2 availability and that microbes are able to effectively compete with minerals for P under Fe-oxidizing conditions. These results emphasize the central role of soil microorganisms in regulating P availability, even in the presence of strong abiotic sorption capacity.},
doi = {10.3390/soilsystems2040065},
journal = {Soil Systems},
number = 4,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the expected effects of redox conditions on Fe oxidation state, P sorption and microbial activity.

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.