Heterotrophic Soil Respiration in Warming Experiments: Using Microbial Indicators to Partition Contributions from Labile and Recalcitrant Soil Organic Carbon. Final Report

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

The central objective of the proposed work was to develop a genomic approach (nucleic acid-based) that elucidates the mechanistic basis for the observed impacts of experimental soil warming on forest soil respiration. The need to understand the mechanistic basis arises from the importance of such information for developing effective adaptation strategies for dealing with projected climate change. Specifically, robust predictions of future climate will permit the tailoring of the most effective adaptation efforts. And one of the greatest uncertainties in current global climate models is whether there will be a net loss of carbon from soils to the atmosphere as ... continued below

Physical Description

760kb

Creation Information

Bradford, M A; Melillo, J M; Reynolds, J F; Treseder, K K & Wallenstein, M D June 10, 2010.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

The central objective of the proposed work was to develop a genomic approach (nucleic acid-based) that elucidates the mechanistic basis for the observed impacts of experimental soil warming on forest soil respiration. The need to understand the mechanistic basis arises from the importance of such information for developing effective adaptation strategies for dealing with projected climate change. Specifically, robust predictions of future climate will permit the tailoring of the most effective adaptation efforts. And one of the greatest uncertainties in current global climate models is whether there will be a net loss of carbon from soils to the atmosphere as climate warms. Given that soils contain approximately 2.5 times as much carbon as the atmosphere, a net loss could lead to runaway climate warming. Indeed, most ecosystem models predict that climate warming will stimulate microbial decomposition of soil carbon, producing such a positive feedback to rising global temperatures. Yet the IPCC highlights the uncertainty regarding this projected feedback. The uncertainty arises because although warming-experiments document an initial increase in the loss of carbon from soils, the increase in respiration is short-lived, declining to control levels in a few years. This attenuation could result from changes in microbial physiology with temperature. We explored possible microbial responses to warming using experiments and modeling. Our work advances our understanding of how soil microbial communities and their activities are structured, generating insight into how soil carbon might respond to warming. We show the importance of resource partitioning in structuring microbial communities. Specifically, we quantified the relative abundance of fungal taxa that proliferated following the addition of organic substrates to soil. We added glycine, sucrose, cellulose, lignin, or tannin-protein to soils in conjunction with 3-bromo-deoxyuridine (BrdU), a nucleotide analog. Active microbes absorb BrdU from the soil solution; if they multiply in response to substrate additions, they incorporate the BrdU into their DNA. After allowing soils to incubate, we extracted BrdU-labeled DNA and sequenced the ITS regions of fungal rDNA. Fungal taxa that proliferated following substrate addition were likely using the substrate as a resource for growth. We found that the structure of active fungal communities varied significantly among substrates. The active fungal community under glycine was significantly different from those under other conditions, while the active communities under sucrose and cellulose were marginally different from each other and the control. These results indicate that the overall community structure of active fungi was altered by the addition of glycine, sucrose, and cellulose and implies that some fungal taxa respond to changes in resource availability. The community composition of active fungi is also altered by experimental warming. We found that glycine-users tended to increase under warming, while lignin-, tannin/protein-, and sucrose-users declined. The latter group of substrates requires extracellular enzymes for use, but glycine does not. It is possible that warming selects for fungal species that target, in particular, labile substrates. Linking these changes in microbial communities and resource partitioning to soil carbon dynamics, we find that substrate mineralization rates are, in general, significantly lower in soils exposed to long-term warming. This suggests that microbial use of organic substrates is impaired by warming. Yet effects are dependent on substrate identity. There are fundamental differences in the metabolic capabilities of the communities in the control and warmed soils. These differences might relate to the changes in microbial community composition, which appeared to be associated with groups specialized on different resources. We also find that functional responses indicate temperature acclimation of the microbial community. There are distinct seasonal patterns and to long-term soil warming, with higher-temperature optima for soils exposed to warmer temperatures. To relate these changes within the microbial community to potential positive feedbacks between climate warming and soil respiration, we develop a microbial-enzyme model to simulate the responses of soil carbon to warming. We find that declines in microbial biomass and degradative enzymes can explain the observed attenuation of soil-carbon emissions in response to warming. Specifically, reduced carbon-use efficiency limits the biomass of microbial decomposers and mitigates loss of soil carbon. However, microbial adaptation or a change in microbial communities could lead to an upward adjustment of the efficiency of carbon use, counteracting the decline in microbial biomass and accelerating soil-carbon loss. We conclude that the soil-carbon response to climate warming depends on the efficiency of soil microbes in using carbon.

Physical Description

760kb

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: Final Report
  • Grant Number: FG02-04ER63893
  • DOI: 10.2172/981713 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 981713
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013368

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • June 10, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Congratulations! It looks like you are the first person to view this item online.

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Bradford, M A; Melillo, J M; Reynolds, J F; Treseder, K K & Wallenstein, M D. Heterotrophic Soil Respiration in Warming Experiments: Using Microbial Indicators to Partition Contributions from Labile and Recalcitrant Soil Organic Carbon. Final Report, report, June 10, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013368/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.