Tracing organic carbon and microbial community structure in mineralogically different soils exposed to redox fluctuations

Winkler, Pauline, Kaiser, Klaus, Jahn, Reinhold, Mikutta, Robert, Fiedler, Sabine, Cerli, Chiara, Kölbl, Angelika, Schulz, Stefanie, Jankowska, Martha, Schloter, Michael, Müller-Niggemann, Cornelia, Schwark, Lorenz, Woche, Susanne K., Kümmel, Steffen, Utami, Sri R. and Kalbitz, Karsten (2019) Tracing organic carbon and microbial community structure in mineralogically different soils exposed to redox fluctuations Biogeochemistry, 143 (1). pp. 31-54. DOI 10.1007/s10533-019-00548-7.

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Submerged rice cultivation is characterized by redox fluctuations and results in the formation of paddy soils, often accompanied by soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation. The impact of redox fluctuations and the underlying soil type on the fate of organic carbon (OC) in paddy soils are unknown. Hence, we mimicked paddy soil development in the laboratory by exposing two soil types with contrasting mineral assemblages (Alisol and Andosol) to eight anoxic–oxic cycles over 1 year. Soils regularly received ¹³C-labeled rice straw. As control we used a second set of samples without straw addition as well as samples under static oxic conditions with and without straw. Headspaces were analyzed for carbon dioxide and methane as well as their δ¹³C signatures, whereas soil solutions were analyzed for redox potential, pH, dissolved iron, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC and DO¹³C). At the end of the experiment, when eight redox cycles were completed, mineral-associated organic matter (MOM) was isolated by density fractionation and characterized for δ¹³C, non-cellulosic carbohydrates, and lignin-derived phenols. Moreover, changes in the soil’s microbial community structure were measured. For both soil types, headspace data confirmed less respiration in straw-amended soils with redox fluctuation than in those under static oxic conditions. The δ¹³C data revealed that, irrespective of soil type, straw carbon allocation into MOM was larger in soils with redox fluctuation than in those with static oxic conditions. A net increase in MOM after the one-year incubation, however, was only observed in the respective Andosol, probably due to abundant reactive minerals capable of OC uptake. In the Alisol, straw OC most likely exchanged initial MOM. A potential for lignin accumulation in the MOM of soils incubated with straw and redox fluctuation was observed for both soil types. Lignin and carbohydrates suggest a plant origin of MOM formed under redox fluctuation. The initially similar bacterial community composition of the Alisol and Andosol changed differently under redox fluctuation. The stronger change in the Alisol indicates less protective microbial habitats. In summary, the overall turnover of straw OC in soils under redox fluctuation seems to be independent of soil type, while net accumulation of SOC as well as the evolution of the bacterial community structure may in part depend on soil type, suggesting an impact of the soil’s mineral composition.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10533-019-00548-7
ISSN: 0168-2563
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2019 10:37
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2019 10:37

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