Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.080
Title (Primary) Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems
Author Breulmann, M.; Masyutenko, N.P.; Kogut, B.M.; Schroll, R.; Dörfler, U.; Buscot, F.; Schulz, E.
Source Titel Science of the Total Environment
Year 2014
Department BOOEK; UBZ; iDiv
Volume 497-498
Page From 29
Page To 37
Language englisch
Keywords Soil organic matter; Size–density fractionation; OC mineralization; Incubation experiment; Bioavailability; PLFA microbial community composition
UFZ wide themes RU1

The quality, stability and availability of organic carbon (OC) in soil organic matter (SOM) can vary widely between differently managed ecosystems. Several approaches have been developed for isolating SOM fractions to examine their ecological roles, but links between the bioavailability of the OC of size–density fractions and soil microbial communities have not been previously explored. Thus, in the presented laboratory study we investigated the potential bioavailability of OC and the structure of associated microbial communities in different particle-size and density fractions of SOM. For this we used samples from four grassland ecosystems with contrasting management intensity regimes and two soil types: a Haplic Cambisol and a typical Chernozem. A combined size–density fractionation protocol was applied to separate clay-associated SOM fractions (CF1, < 1 μm; CF2, 1–2 μm) from light SOM fractions (LF1, < 1.8 g cm− 3; LF2, 1.8–2.0 g cm− 3). These fractions were used as carbon sources in a respiration experiment to determine their potential bioavailability. Measured CO2-release was used as an index of substrate accessibility and linked to the soil microbial community structure, as determined by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis.

Several key factors controlling decomposition processes, and thus the potential bioavailability of OC, were identified: management intensity and the plant community composition of the grasslands (both of which affect the chemical composition and turnover of OC) and specific properties of individual SOM fractions. The PLFA patterns highlighted differences in the composition of microbial communities associated with the examined grasslands, and SOM fractions, providing the first broad insights into their active microbial communities. From observed interactions between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the decomposition of SOM fractions we demonstrate that increasing management intensity could enhance the potential bioavailability of OC, not only in the active and intermediate SOM pools, but also in the passive pool.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Breulmann, M., Masyutenko, N.P., Kogut, B.M., Schroll, R., Dörfler, U., Buscot, F., Schulz, E. (2014):
Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems
Sci. Total Environ. 497-498 , 29 - 37 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.080