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Title (Primary) Microbial contribution to SOM quantity and quality in density fractions of temperate arable soils
Author Ludwig, M.; Achtenhagen, J.; Miltner, A.; Eckhardt, K.-U.; Leinweber, P.; Emmerling, C.; Thiele-Bruhn, S.;
Journal Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Year 2015
Department UBT;
Volume 81
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T41; T31;
Keywords Microbial mass; SOM thermostability; SOM polydispersity; Pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry (Py-FIMS); Hexose to pentose ratio; Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
UFZ wide themes RU3;
Abstract The formation of soil organic matter (SOM) very much depends on microbial activity. Even more, latest studies identified microbial necromass itself being a significant source of SOM and found microbial products to initiate and enhance the formation of long-term stabilized SOM. The objectives of this study were to investigate the microbial contribution to SOM in pools of different stability and its impact on SOM quality. Hence, four arable soils of widely differing properties were density-fractionated into free and occluded particulate organic matter (fPOM, oPOM < 1.6 g cm−3 and oPOM < 2.0 g cm−3) and mineral associated organic matter (MOM > 2.0 g cm−3) by using sodium polytungstate. These fractions were characterized by in-source pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry (Py-FIMS). Main SOM compound classes of the fractions were determined and further SOM properties were derived (polydispersity, thermostability). The contribution of microbial derived input to arable soil OM was estimated from the hexose to pentose ratio of the carbohydrates and the ratio of C4–C26 to C26–C36 fatty acids. Additionally, selected samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for visualizing structures as indicators for the origin of OM. Results showed that, although the samples differed significantly regarding soil properties, SOM composition was comparable and almost 50% of identifiable SOM compounds of all soils types and all density fractions were assigned to phenols, lignin monomers and alkylaromatics. Most distinguishing were the high contents of carbohydrates for the MOM and of lipids for the POM fractions. Qualitative features such as polydispersity or thermostability were not in general assignable to specific compounds, density fractions or different mean residence times. Only the microbial derived part of the soil carbohydrates could be shown to be correlated with high SOM thermostability (r2 = 0.63**, n = 39). Microbial derived carbohydrates and fatty acids were both enriched in the MOM, showing that the relative contribution of microbial versus plant-derived input to arable SOM increased with density and therefore especially increased MOM thermostability. Nevertheless, the general microbial contribution to arable SOM is suggested to be high for all density fractions; a mean proportion of about 1:1 was estimated for carbohydrates. Despite biomolecules released from living microorganisms, SEM revealed that microbial mass (biomass and necromass) is a considerable source for stable SOM which is also increasing with density.
ID 15662
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=15662
Ludwig, M., Achtenhagen, J., Miltner, A., Eckhardt, K.-U., Leinweber, P., Emmerling, C., Thiele-Bruhn, S. (2015):
Microbial contribution to SOM quantity and quality in density fractions of temperate arable soils
Soil Biol. Biochem. 81 , 311 - 322