Geothermally warmed soils reveal persistent increases in the respiratory costs of soil microbes contributing to substantial C losses

Marañón-Jiménez S., Soong J.L., Leblans N.I.W., Sigurdsson B.D., Peñuelas J., Richter A., Asensio D., Fransen E., Janssens I.A. (2018) Geothermally warmed soils reveal persistent increases in the respiratory costs of soil microbes contributing to substantial C losses. Biogeochemistry. : 1-16.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10533-018-0443-0

Resum:

Increasing temperatures can accelerate soil organic matter decomposition and release large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere, potentially inducing positive warming feedbacks. Alterations to the temperature sensitivity and physiological functioning of soil microorganisms may play a key role in these carbon (C) losses. Geothermally active areas in Iceland provide stable and continuous soil temperature gradients to test this hypothesis, encompassing the full range of warming scenarios projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the northern region. We took soils from these geothermal sites 7 years after the onset of warming and incubated them at varying temperatures and substrate availability conditions to detect persistent alterations of microbial physiology to long-term warming. Seven years of continuous warming ranging from 1.8 to 15.9 °C triggered a 8.6–58.0% decrease on the C concentrations in the topsoil (0–10 cm) of these sub-arctic silt-loam Andosols. The sensitivity of microbial respiration to temperature (Q10) was not altered. However, soil microbes showed a persistent increase in their microbial metabolic quotients (microbial respiration per unit of microbial biomass) and a subsequent diminished C retention in biomass. After an initial depletion of labile soil C upon soil warming, increasing energy costs of metabolic maintenance and resource acquisition led to a weaker capacity of C stabilization in the microbial biomass of warmer soils. This mechanism contributes to our understanding of the acclimated response of soil respiration to in situ soil warming at the ecosystem level, despite a lack of acclimation at the physiological level. Persistent increases in the respiratory costs of soil microbes in response to warming constitute a fundamental process that should be incorporated into climate change-C cycling models. © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

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Seasonal and diurnal variations of plant isoprenoid emissions from two dominant species in Mediterranean shrubland and forest submitted to experimental drought

Mu Z., Llusià J., Liu D., Ogaya R., Asensio D., Zhang C., Peñuelas J. (2018) Seasonal and diurnal variations of plant isoprenoid emissions from two dominant species in Mediterranean shrubland and forest submitted to experimental drought. Atmospheric Environment. 191: 105-115.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.08.010

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We tested the effect of increasing drought conditions in the Mediterranean Basin on isoprenoid emissions for the coming decades by analyzing their effect experimentally on the dominant Mediterranean species Erica multiflora in a Garraf shrubland and Quercus ilex in a Prades forest in Catalonia (Spain). Drought was simulated in Garraf using automatically sliding curtains to decrease the amount of soil moisture by 5% and in Prades by partial rainfall exclusion and runoff exclusion for a 25% decrease. We measured photosynthetic rates (A), stomatal conductance (gs) and rates of isoprenoid emission in the morning and at midday for four seasons and determined the relationship of emission rates with environmental conditions. Terpenes were emitted by both species, but only E. multiflora emitted isoprene. α-Pinene and limonene were the most abundant terpenes. Isoprenoid emissions increased with air temperature and generally decreased as the amount of soil moisture increased. The results of this study suggest that higher isoprenoid emissions can be expected in the warmer and drier conditions predicted for the coming decades in the Mediterranean region. © 2018

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Shifts in plant and soil C, N and P accumulation and C:N:P stoichiometry associated with flooding intensity in subtropical estuarine wetlands in China

Wang W., Sardans J., Wang C., Zeng C., Tong C., Bartrons M., Asensio D., Peñuelas J. (2018) Shifts in plant and soil C, N and P accumulation and C:N:P stoichiometry associated with flooding intensity in subtropical estuarine wetlands in China. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 215: 172-184.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2018.09.026

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Flooding caused by rising sea levels can influence the biogeochemistry of estuarine wetland ecosystems. We studied the relationships of higher flooding intensity with soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in communities of the native sedge Cyperus malaccensis var. brevifolius Boecklr. in the wetlands of the Minjiang River estuary in China. The aboveground and total biomasses of C. malaccensis were higher in high-flooding habitats than in intermediate- and low-flooding habitats. These differences in plant biomass were accompanied by a lower N:P ratio in the aboveground biomass and a higher N:P ratio in the belowground biomass. Higher intensities of flooding were associated with higher soil N and P concentrations in intermediate and deep soil layers. The higher P concentration under flooding was mainly associated with the higher clay content, whereas the higher N concentration was associated with higher salinity. Flooding intensity did not have a net total effect on soil total C concentration. The positive direct effect of flooding intensity on total soil C concentration was counteracted by its positive effects on CH4 emissions and soil salinity. The results suggest that C. malaccensis wetlands will be able to maintain and even increase the current C, N and P storage capacity of the ecosystem under moderate increases of flooding in the Minjiang River estuary. © 2018

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Storage and release of nutrients during litter decomposition for native and invasive species under different flooding intensities in a Chinese wetland

Wang W., Wang C., Sardans J., Tong C., Ouyang L., Asensio D., Gargallo-Garriga A., Peñuelas J. (2018) Storage and release of nutrients during litter decomposition for native and invasive species under different flooding intensities in a Chinese wetland. Aquatic Botany. 149: 5-16.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2018.04.006

Resum:

Projections of climate change impacts over the coming decades suggest that rising sea level will flood coastal wetlands. We studied the impacts of three intensities of flooding on litter decomposition in the native Cyperus malaccensis, and the invasives Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis in Shanyutan wetland (Minjiang River estuary, China). Invasive species had larger C, N and P stocks in plant-litter compartments and higher fluxes among plant-litter-soil, which increased with flooding intensity. Litter mass remaining (% of initial mass) were correlated with the N:P ratio in remaining litter, consistently with the N-limitation in this wetland. P. australis had the highest accumulated N release (P < 0.001) in all flooding intensities, whereas C. malaccensis had higher N accumulated release than S. alternifolia but only at low flooding intensity. At high flooding intensity, the N released in the first year of litter decomposition (g m−2 y−1) were 9.56 ± 0.21, 2.38 ± 0.18 and 1.92 ± 0.03 for P. australis, S. alternifolia and C. malaccensis, respectively. The higher rates of nutrient release from litter decomposition in invasive species provided better nutrient supply during the growing season coinciding with the initial phases of decomposition. Thus, this study shows that invasive species may gain a competitive advantage over the native C. malaccensis under the projected scenarios of sea level rises. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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