|Title (Primary)||Impact of the plant community composition on labile soil organic carbon, soil microbial activity and community structure in semi-natural grassland ecosystems of different productivity|
|Author||Breulmann, M.; Schulz, E.; Weißhuhn, K.; Buscot, F.|
|Journal||Plant and Soil|
|Keywords||Above- belowground feedback; Enzyme activities; Labile carbon pool; Legumes; Litter decomposition; PLFA|
The main objective was to describe the effects of plant litter on SOC and on soil microbial activity and structure in extensively managed grasslands in Central Germany that vary in biomass production and plant community composition.
The decomposition of shoot and root litter was studied in an incubation experiment. Labile C and N were isolated by hot water extraction (CHWE, NHWE), while functional groups of microbes were identified by PLFA analysis and microbial activity was measured using a set of soil exo-enzymes.
The plant community composition, particulary legume species affected SOC dynamics and below-ground microbial processes, especially via roots. This was reflected in about 20% lower decomposition of root litter in low productivity grassland soil. The CHWE soil pool was found to be a key driver of the below-ground food web, controlling soil microbial processes.
Below-ground responses appear to be related to the presence of legume species, which affected the microbial communities, as well as the ratio between fungal and bacterial biomass and patterns of soil enzyme activity. Low productivity fungal-dominated grasslands with slow C turnover rates may play an important role in SOC accumulation. The approach used here is of particular importance, since associated biological and biochemical processes are fundamental to ecosystem functioning.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier||https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=11831|
|Breulmann, M., Schulz, E., Weißhuhn, K., Buscot, F. (2012):
Impact of the plant community composition on labile soil organic carbon, soil microbial activity and community structure in semi-natural grassland ecosystems of different productivity
Plant Soil 352 (1-2), 253 - 265