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Plant-microbial linkages underpin carbon sequestration in contrasting mountain tundra vegetation types

Gavazov, Konstantin and Canarini, Alberto and Jassey, Vincent E. J. and Mills, Robert and Richter, Andreas and Sundqvist, Maja and Vaisanen, Maria and Walker, Tom W. N. and Wardle, David A. and Dorrepaal, Ellen (2022). Plant-microbial linkages underpin carbon sequestration in contrasting mountain tundra vegetation types. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 165 , 108530
[Research article]

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Abstract

Tundra ecosystems hold large stocks of soil organic matter (SOM), likely due to low temperatures limiting rates of microbial SOM decomposition more than those of SOM accumulation from plant primary productivity and microbial necromass inputs. Here we test the hypotheses that distinct tundra vegetation types and their carbon supply to characteristic rhizosphere microbes determine SOM cycling independent of temperature. In the subarctic Scandes, we used a three-way factorial design with paired heath and meadow vegetation at each of two elevations, and with each combination of vegetation type and elevation subjected during one growing season to either ambient light (i.e., ambient plant productivity), or 95% shading (i.e., reduced plant productivity). We assessed potential above-and belowground ecosystem linkages by uni-and multivariate analyses of variance, and structural equation modelling. We observed direct coupling between tundra vegetation type and microbial community composition and function, which underpinned the ecosystem's potential for SOM storage. Greater primary productivity at low elevation and ambient light supported higher microbial biomass and nitrogen immobilisation, with lower microbial mass-specific enzymatic activity and SOM humification. Congruently, larger SOM at lower elevation and in heath sustained fungal-dominated microbial communities, which were less substrate-limited, and invested less into enzymatic SOM mineralisation, owing to a greater carbon-use efficiency (CUE). Our results highlight the importance of tundra plant community characteristics (i.e., productivity and vegetation type), via their effects on soil microbial community size, structure and physiology, as essential drivers of SOM turnover. The here documented concerted patterns in above-and belowground ecosystem functioning is strongly supportive of using plant community characteristics as surrogates for assessing tundra carbon storage potential and its evolution under climate and vegetation changes.

Authors/Creators:Gavazov, Konstantin and Canarini, Alberto and Jassey, Vincent E. J. and Mills, Robert and Richter, Andreas and Sundqvist, Maja and Vaisanen, Maria and Walker, Tom W. N. and Wardle, David A. and Dorrepaal, Ellen
Title:Plant-microbial linkages underpin carbon sequestration in contrasting mountain tundra vegetation types
Series Name/Journal:Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:165
Article number:108530
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
ISSN:0038-0717
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:Elevation gradient, Primary productivity, Above-and belowground interactions, Microbial physiology, Carbon use efficiency
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116854
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116854
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108530
Web of Science (WoS)000776074700007
ID Code:27708
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 May 2022 12:25
Metadata Last Modified:05 May 2022 12:31

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