Details zur Publikation

Kategorie Textpublikation
Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI 10.1111/geb.13672
Volltext Shareable Link
Titel (primär) Restricted power: Can microorganisms maintain soil organic matter stability under warming exceeding 2 degrees?
Autor Zhou, J.; Wen, Y.; Rillig, M.C.; Shi, L.; Dippold, M.A.; Zeng, Z.; Kuzyakov, Y.; Zang, H.; Jones, D.L.; Blagodatskaya, E.
Quelle Global Ecology and Biogeography
Erscheinungsjahr 2023
Department BOOEK
Band/Volume 32
Heft 6
Seite von 919
Seite bis 930
Sprache englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords climate change; enzyme; meta-analysis; microbial growth; soil organic carbon; warming magnitude


The Paris Climate Agreement is pursuing efforts to limit global warming to less than 2 °C in this century, but increasing evidence shows that temperatures are likely to rise up to 4.8 °C by 2100. This points to an urgent need to investigate how the temperature impact on microbial regulation will endanger soil organic matter stability under warming approaching or exceeding 2 °C.


Southern Germany and the globe.

Time Period


Major Taxa Studied

Soil organic matter stability and microbial adaptations.


We analyzed soil properties and enzyme activities within (a) a long-term field experiment with soil warming to below and above 2 °C (+1.6 vs. +3.2 °C), and (b) a literature review of 213 comparable studies globally (+0–2 vs. +2–4 °C).


The soil organic C (SOC) stock remained unchanged after 8 years under both warming magnitudes, whereas the labile C pool increased by 10% under >2 °C. Unlike the SOC pool, total N (TN) content increased by 20% under >2 °C as compared to ambient. A potential explanation for the increased TN content is linked to unbalanced processes of necromass formation and enzymatic decomposition. Warming induced faster microbial growth and turnover, but reduced catalytic efficiency and the enzyme-mediated decomposition of oligosaccharides and polypeptides. This consequently caused N accumulation in microbial necromass. Although microbial regulation can maintain SOC at stable levels, warming exceeding 2 °C will change the projected effects of temperature on soil TN pools in the future. Early action to accomplish the 2 °C temperature goal can therefore markedly reduce the likelihood that large regions will face substantial increase of SOC availability, N accumulation and related climate impacts on C and N cycling.

Main Conclusions

It is crucial to include microbial metabolic responses (i.e., faster microbial growth and turnover) to warming in global C and N cycle models to improve the prediction of climate warming scenarios.

dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung
Zhou, J., Wen, Y., Rillig, M.C., Shi, L., Dippold, M.A., Zeng, Z., Kuzyakov, Y., Zang, H., Jones, D.L., Blagodatskaya, E. (2023):
Restricted power: Can microorganisms maintain soil organic matter stability under warming exceeding 2 degrees?
Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 32 (6), 919 - 930 10.1111/geb.13672