Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.176
Title (Primary) Effects of slope exposure on soil physico-chemical and microbiological properties along an altitudinal climosequence in the Italian Alps
Author Bardelli, T.; Gómez-Brandón, N.; Ascher-Jenull, J.; Fornasier, F.; Arfaioli, P.; Francioli, D.; Egli, M.; Sartori, G.; Insam, H.; Pietramellara, G.
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2017
Department BOOEK
Volume 575
Page From 1041
Page To 1055
Language englisch
Keywords Subalpine-alpine soils; Soil texture; Microbial communities; Bacteria-fungi-archaea; Multiple hydrolytic enzyme activities; Soil depth
UFZ wide themes RU1
Abstract Due to their sensitivity to changing environmental conditions sub- and alpine soils are often monitored in the context of climate change, usually, however, neglecting slope exposure. Therefore, we set up a climosequence-approach to study the effect of exposure and, in general, climate, on the microbial biomass and microbial diversity and activity, comprising five pairs of north (N)- and south (S)-facing sites along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 1200 to 2400 m a.s.l. in the Italian Alps (Trentino Alto Adige, Italy). Soil physico-chemical properties were related to microbiological properties (microbial biomass: double strand DNA yield vs. substrate-induced respiration; diversity of bacterial, fungal and archaeal communities: genetic fingerprinting DGGE vs. real-time PCR; microbial activity: basal respiration vs. multiple hydrolytic enzyme assays) to monitor shifts in the diversity and activity of microbial communities as a function of slope exposure and to evaluate the most determinant chemical parameters shaping the soil microbiota. The exposure-effect on several hydrolytic key-enzymes was enzyme-specific: e.g. acid phosphomonoesterase potential activity was more pronounced at the N-facing slope while the activities of alkaline phosphomonoesterase, pyrophosphate-phosphodiesterase and arylsulfatase were higher at the S-facing slope. Furthermore, this exposure-effect was domain-specific: bacteria (S > N, altitude-independent); fungi (N ~ S); and archaea (N > S; altitude-dependent). Additionally, the abiotic parameters shaping the community composition were in general depending on soil depth. Our multidisciplinary approach allowed us to survey the exposure and altitudinal effects on soil physico-chemical and microbiological properties and thus unravel the complex multiple edaphic factor-effects on soil microbiota in mountain ecosystems.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Bardelli, T., Gómez-Brandón, N., Ascher-Jenull, J., Fornasier, F., Arfaioli, P., Francioli, D., Egli, M., Sartori, G., Insam, H., Pietramellara, G. (2017):
Effects of slope exposure on soil physico-chemical and microbiological properties along an altitudinal climosequence in the Italian Alps
Sci. Total Environ. 575 , 1041 - 1055