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The effect of temperature and substrate quality on the carbon use efficiency of saprotrophic decomposition
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
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2017 (English)In: Plant and Soil, ISSN 0032-079X, E-ISSN 1573-5036, Vol. 414, no 1, 113-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and aims: Mineralization of soil organic matter (SOM) constitutes a major carbon flux to the atmosphere. The carbon use efficiency (CUE) of the saprotrophic microorganisms mineralizing SOM is integral for soil carbon dynamics. Here we investigate how the CUE is affected by temperature, metabolic conditions, and the molecular complexity of the substrate.

Methods: We incubated O-horizon soil samples (with either 13C–glucose or 13C–cellulose) from a boreal coniferous forest at 4, 9, 14, and 19 °C, and calculated CUEs based on the amount of 13C–CO2and 13C–labelled microbial biomass produced. The effects of substrate, temperature, and metabolic conditions (representing unlimited substrate supply and substrate limitation) on CUE were evaluated.

Results: CUE from metabolizing glucose was higher as compared to cellulose. A slight decrease in CUE with increasing temperature was observed in glucose amended samples (but only in the range 9–19 °C), but not in cellulose amended samples. CUE differed significantly with metabolic conditions, i.e. CUE was higher during unlimited growth conditions as compared to conditions with substrate limitation.

Conclusions: We conclude that it is integral to account for both differences in CUE during different metabolic phases, as well as complexity of substrate, when interpreting temperature dependence on CUE in incubation studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 414, no 1, 113-125 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon use efficiency (CUE), Decomposition, Metabolic condition, NMR 13 C – substrate, Boreal forest soil
National Category
Soil Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-129970DOI: 10.1007/s11104-016-3104-xISI: 000399742000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-129970DiVA: diva2:1063548
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3060Swedish Research Council, 2012-2855
Available from: 2017-01-10 Created: 2017-01-10 Last updated: 2017-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Erhagen, BjörnSparrman, TobiasSchleucher, Jürgen
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Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesDepartment of ChemistryDepartment of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
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