Increased microbial growth, biomass, and turnover drive soil organic carbon accumulation at higher plant diversity.

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_4F7654E875A6
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Increased microbial growth, biomass, and turnover drive soil organic carbon accumulation at higher plant diversity.
Journal
Global change biology
Author(s)
Prommer J., Walker TWN, Wanek W., Braun J., Zezula D., Hu Y., Hofhansl F., Richter A.
ISSN
1365-2486 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1354-1013
Publication state
Published
Issued date
02/2020
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
26
Number
2
Pages
669-681
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Species-rich plant communities have been shown to be more productive and to exhibit increased long-term soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. Soil microorganisms are central to the conversion of plant organic matter into SOC, yet the relationship between plant diversity, soil microbial growth, turnover as well as carbon use efficiency (CUE) and SOC accumulation is unknown. As heterotrophic soil microbes are primarily carbon limited, it is important to understand how they respond to increased plant-derived carbon inputs at higher plant species richness (PSR). We used the long-term grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, to examine how microbial physiology responds to changes in plant diversity and how this affects SOC content. The Jena Experiment considers different numbers of species (1-60), functional groups (1-4) as well as functional identity (small herbs, tall herbs, grasses, and legumes). We found that PSR accelerated microbial growth and turnover and increased microbial biomass and necromass. PSR also accelerated microbial respiration, but this effect was less strong than for microbial growth. In contrast, PSR did not affect microbial CUE or biomass-specific respiration. Structural equation models revealed that PSR had direct positive effects on root biomass, and thereby on microbial growth and microbial biomass carbon. Finally, PSR increased SOC content via its positive influence on microbial biomass carbon. We suggest that PSR favors faster rates of microbial growth and turnover, likely due to greater plant productivity, resulting in higher amounts of microbial biomass and necromass that translate into the observed increase in SOC. We thus identify the microbial mechanism linking species-rich plant communities to a carbon cycle process of importance to Earth's climate system.
Keywords
Biomass, Carbon, Germany, Soil, Soil Microbiology, microbial activity, microbial carbon use efficiency, microbial necromass, microbial turnover, plant diversity, soil organic carbon
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
06/08/2019 17:41
Last modification date
05/04/2020 6:20
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