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Land use driven change in soil pH affects microbial carbon cycling processes

Malik, Ashish A.; Puissant, Jeremy; Buckeridge, Kate M.; Goodall, Tim; Jehmlich, Nico; Chowdhury, Somak; Gweon, Hyun Soon; Peyton, Jodey M.; Mason, Kelly E.; van Agtmaal, Maaike; Blaud, Aimeric; Clark, Ian M.; Whitaker, Jeanette; Pywell, Richard F.; Ostle, Nick; Gleixner, Gerd; Griffiths, Robert I.

Authors

Ashish A. Malik

Jeremy Puissant

Kate M. Buckeridge

Tim Goodall

Nico Jehmlich

Somak Chowdhury

Hyun Soon Gweon

Jodey M. Peyton

Kelly E. Mason

Maaike van Agtmaal

Ian M. Clark

Jeanette Whitaker

Richard F. Pywell

Nick Ostle

Gerd Gleixner

Robert I. Griffiths



Abstract

Soil microorganisms act as gatekeepers for soil–atmosphere carbon exchange by balancing the accumulation and release of soil organic matter. However, poor understanding of the mechanisms responsible hinders the development of effective land management strategies to enhance soil carbon storage. Here we empirically test the link between microbial ecophysiological traits and topsoil carbon content across geographically distributed soils and land use contrasts. We discovered distinct pH controls on microbial mechanisms of carbon accumulation. Land use intensification in low-pH soils that increased the pH above a threshold (~6.2) leads to carbon loss through increased decomposition, following alleviation of acid retardation of microbial growth. However, loss of carbon with intensification in near-neutral pH soils was linked to decreased microbial biomass and reduced growth efficiency that was, in turn, related to trade-offs with stress alleviation and resource acquisition. Thus, less-intensive management practices in near-neutral pH soils have more potential for carbon storage through increased microbial growth efficiency, whereas in acidic soils, microbial growth is a bigger constraint on decomposition rates.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 6, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 4, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 3, 2018
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Article Number 3591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05980-1
Keywords General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; General Physics and Astronomy; General Chemistry
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/1348320
Contract Date Nov 29, 2018

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Copyright Statement
Creative Commons BY
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.






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