Effects of wetting frequency and afforestation on carbon, nitrogen and the microbial community in soil

Hoogmoed, M., Cunningham, S. C., Baker, P. J., Beringer, J. and Cavagnaro, T. R. 2016, Effects of wetting frequency and afforestation on carbon, nitrogen and the microbial community in soil, Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, vol. 231, pp. 34-43, doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.024.

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Title Effects of wetting frequency and afforestation on carbon, nitrogen and the microbial community in soil
Author(s) Hoogmoed, M.
Cunningham, S. C.
Baker, P. J.
Beringer, J.
Cavagnaro, T. R.
Journal name Agriculture, ecosystems and environment
Volume number 231
Start page 34
End page 43
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-09-01
ISSN 1873-2305
0167-8809
Keyword(s) carbon sequestration
nitrogen cycling
wetting and drying cycles
afforestation
pasture
heterotrophic respiration
Summary Afforestation of agricultural land is increasing, partly because it is an important biological method for reducing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and potentially mitigating climate change. Rainfall patterns are changing and prolonged dry periods are predicted for many regions of the world, including southern Australia. To accurately predict land-use change potential for mitigating climate change, we need to have a better understanding of how changes in land-use (i.e. afforestation of pastures) may change the soils response to prolonged dry periods. We present results of an incubation study characterising C and N dynamics and the microbial community composition in soil collected from two tree plantings and their adjacent pastures under a baseline and reduced frequency. While the concentration of soil C was similar in pasture and tree planting soils, heterotrophic respiration was significantly lower in soil from pastures than tree plantings. Although there was little difference in the composition of the soil microbial community among any of the soils or treatments, differences in N cycling could indicate a difference in microbial activity, which may explain the differences in heterotrophic respiration between pastures and tree plantings. Soils from pastures and tree plantings responded similarly to a reduction in wetting frequency, with a decrease in microbial biomass (measured as total PLFA), and a similar reduction in heterotrophic respiration from the soil. This suggests that the responses to changes in future wetting cycles may be less dependent on land-use type than expected.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.024
Field of Research 050102 Ecosystem Function
050303 Soil Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085143

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