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Aridity thresholds of soil microbial metabolic indices along a 3,200 km transect across arid and semi-arid regions in Northern China
Hou, Jianfeng1,2; Dijkstra, Feike A.3; Zhang, Xiuwei1,4,5; Wang, Chao1; Lu, Xiaotao1; Wang, Peng1; Han, Xingguo6; Cheng, Weixin1,7
Corresponding AuthorHou, Jianfeng(mehoujianfeng@163.com) ; Cheng, Weixin(wxcheng@ucsc.edu)
2019-04-09
Source PublicationPEERJ
ISSN2167-8359
Volume7Pages:19
AbstractSoil microbial processes are crucial for understanding the ecological functions of arid and semi-arid lands which occupy approximately 40% of the global terrestrial ecosystems. However, how soil microbial metabolic activities may change across a wide aridity gradient in drylands remains unclear. Here, we investigated three soil microbial metabolic indices (soil organic carbon (SOC)-based microbial respiration, metabolic quotient, and microbial biomass as a proportion of total SOC) and the degree of carbon limitation for microbial respiration along a 3,200 km transect with a wide aridity gradient. The aridity gradient was customarily expressed using the aridity index (AI) which was calculated as the ratio of mean annual precipitation to mean annual evaporation, therefore, a lower AI value indicated a higher degree of aridity. Our results showed non-linear relationships between AI values and the metabolic indices with a clear aridity threshold for each of the three metabolic indices along the aridity gradient, respectively (AI = 0.13 for basal respiration, AI = 0.17 for metabolic quotient, and AI = 0.17 for MBC:SOC ratio). These metabolic indices linearly declined when AI was above the thresholds, but did not show any clear patterns when AI was below the thresholds. We also found that soil microbial respiration was highly limited by available carbon substrates at locations with higher primary production and relatively lower level of water limitation when AI was above the threshold, a counter-intuitive pattern that microbes were more starved in ecosystems with more substrate input. However, the increasing level of carbon limitation did correspond to the declining trend of the three metabolic indices along the AI gradient, which indicates that the carbon limitation influences microbial metabolism. We also found that the ratio of microbial biomass carbon to SOC in arid regions (AI < 0.2) with extremely low precipitation and primary production were not quantitatively related to SOC content. Overall, our results imply that microbial metabolism is distinctively different in arid lands than in non-arid lands.
KeywordRespiration Microbial metabolism Metabolic quotient Carbon limitation Microbial biomass Microbial biomass
Funding OrganizationNational Key R&D projects in China ; National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) ; National Natural Science Foundation of China
DOI10.7717/peerj.6712
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
Funding ProjectNational Key R&D projects in China[2016YFA0600801] ; National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program)[2015CB150802] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[31470527]
WOS Research AreaScience & Technology - Other Topics
WOS SubjectMultidisciplinary Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000463857900006
PublisherPEERJ INC
Citation statistics
Cited Times:5[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.imr.ac.cn/handle/321006/132868
Collection中国科学院金属研究所
Corresponding AuthorHou, Jianfeng; Cheng, Weixin
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Appl Ecol, Erguna Forest Steppe Ecotone Res Stn, Shenyang, Liaoning, Peoples R China
2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing, Peoples R China
3.Univ Sydney, Sch Life & Environm Sci, Sydney Inst Agr, Camden, NSW, Australia
4.Taizhou Univ, Inst Wetland Ecol & Clone Ecol, Taizhou, Zhejiang, Peoples R China
5.Taizhou Univ, Zhejiang Prov Key Lab Evolutionary Ecol & Conserv, Taizhou, Zhejiang, Peoples R China
6.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Bot, Beijing, Peoples R China
7.Univ Calif Santa Cruz, Environm Studies Dept, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Hou, Jianfeng,Dijkstra, Feike A.,Zhang, Xiuwei,et al. Aridity thresholds of soil microbial metabolic indices along a 3,200 km transect across arid and semi-arid regions in Northern China[J]. PEERJ,2019,7:19.
APA Hou, Jianfeng.,Dijkstra, Feike A..,Zhang, Xiuwei.,Wang, Chao.,Lu, Xiaotao.,...&Cheng, Weixin.(2019).Aridity thresholds of soil microbial metabolic indices along a 3,200 km transect across arid and semi-arid regions in Northern China.PEERJ,7,19.
MLA Hou, Jianfeng,et al."Aridity thresholds of soil microbial metabolic indices along a 3,200 km transect across arid and semi-arid regions in Northern China".PEERJ 7(2019):19.
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