Matching Items (2)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

157859-Thumbnail Image.png

Soil Microbial Responses to Different Precipitation Regimes Across a Southwestern United States Elevation Gradient

Description

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a critical component of the global carbon (C) cycle, accounting for more C than the biotic and atmospheric pools combined. Microbes play an important role in soil C cycling, with abiotic conditions such as soil

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a critical component of the global carbon (C) cycle, accounting for more C than the biotic and atmospheric pools combined. Microbes play an important role in soil C cycling, with abiotic conditions such as soil moisture and temperature governing microbial activity and subsequent soil C processes. Predictions for future climate include warmer temperatures and altered precipitation regimes, suggesting impacts on future soil C cycling. However, it is uncertain how soil microbial communities and subsequent soil organic carbon pools will respond to these changes, particularly in dryland ecosystems. A knowledge gap exists in soil microbial community responses to short- versus long-term precipitation alteration in dryland systems. Assessing soil C cycle processes and microbial community responses under current and altered precipitation patterns will aid in understanding how C pools and cycling might be altered by climate change. This study investigates how soil microbial communities are influenced by established climate regimes and extreme changes in short-term precipitation patterns across a 1000 m elevation gradient in northern Arizona, where precipitation increases with elevation. Precipitation was manipulated (50% addition and 50% exclusion of ambient rainfall) for two summer rainy seasons at five sites across the elevation gradient. In situ and ex situ soil CO2 flux, microbial biomass C, extracellular enzyme activity, and SOC were measured in precipitation treatments in all sites. Soil CO2 flux, microbial biomass C, extracellular enzyme activity, and SOC were highest at the three highest elevation sites compared to the two lowest elevation sites. Within sites, precipitation treatments did not change microbial biomass C, extracellular enzyme activity, and SOC. Soil CO2 flux was greater under precipitation addition treatments than exclusion treatments at both the highest elevation site and second lowest elevation site. Ex situ respiration differed among the precipitation treatments only at the lowest elevation site, where respiration was enhanced in the precipitation addition plots. These results suggest soil C cycling will respond to long-term changes in precipitation, but pools and fluxes of carbon will likely show site-specific sensitivities to short-term precipitation patterns that are also expected with climate change.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019

168414-Thumbnail Image.png

Microbial Responses to Compost Amendments and Water Pulses in Degraded Dryland Soils

Description

Dryland ecosystems are integral to the global agricultural system and play an important role in soil carbon (C) storage. Despite their importance, drylands are currently facing many challenges including climate-change induced rainfall variability and soil degradation. These challenges are predicted

Dryland ecosystems are integral to the global agricultural system and play an important role in soil carbon (C) storage. Despite their importance, drylands are currently facing many challenges including climate-change induced rainfall variability and soil degradation. These challenges are predicted to have effects on the soil microbial communities in drylands. Compost, an organic soil amendment, is a land management strategy that has been proposed to increase soil C storage as well as improve soil conditions in drylands, specifically in restoration and agricultural sites where degradation has affected soil properties like microbial biomass and respiration. Compost additions and rainfall variability may interact to affect soil moisture, an important catalyst for microbial activity. Assessing microbial activity responses under compost applications and variable moisture will aid in understanding how land management strategies will be affected by climate change in the future. This study investigates how soil microbial activity from a degraded dryland restoration site is affected by different compost applications amounts and variable soil moistures. A laboratory incubation study was conducted in a controlled environmental chamber for 60 days. Soils were amended with different treatments of compost (0, 0.35, and 0.70 g cm -2) and water pulses (5, 10, and 15 mm) in a full factorial design. Each treatment received the same cumulative amount of water throughout the incubation, but pulses were administered in different frequencies (every 5, 10, and 15 days). Soil respiration and soil water content were measured daily, and microbial biomass was measured at the end of the incubation to assess treatment effects on microbial activity. Microbial respiration and soil water content increased with increasing compost additions and water pulse sizes. Microbial biomass did not have consistent increases with compost additions or water pulse size. Cumulative microbial respiration was highest with the large-infrequent pulse size and smallest with the small-frequent pulse size. These results suggest that microbial activity and carbon dynamics in soils where compost amendments are used will respond to future changes in precipitation variability. The results of this study can aid in understanding how microbial activity is influenced by compost applications, which will be critical in making informed management decisions in the context of climate change.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021