Substrate spatial heterogeneity reduces soil microbial activity - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Soil Biology and Biochemistry Year : 2021

Substrate spatial heterogeneity reduces soil microbial activity

Abstract

Soil heterogeneity influences microbial access to substrates and creates habitats varying in substrate concentrations, thus leading to local variations in carbon (C) dynamics. Based on theoretical considerations, we expected that higher heterogeneity would decrease microbial activity. To test this hypothesis, we modified substrate spatial heterogeneity using 3D-printed cylinders with four compartments (either preventing or allowing diffusion between compartments). The same total amount of glucose (1.5 mg glucose C per cylinder) was added either to one compartment (highest local concentration, 2.0 mg glucose C g − 1 soil, and highest heterogeneity), to two (medium concentration, 1.0 mg glucose C g − 1 soil, and intermediate heterogeneity), or to four compartments (lowest local concentration, 0.5 mg glucose C g − 1 soil, and equivalent to homogeneous conditions). Thus, we experimentally created a gradient of substrate spatial heterogeneity. The 3D cylinders containing soil were transferred into standard calorimetry ampoules and were incubated in isothermal calorimeters to monitor soil heat dissipation rates as a proxy of soil microbial activity over 51 h at 18 • C. When diffusion among compartments was prevented, the most heterogeneous treatment showed the lowest heat dissipation rates, despite having the highest local substrate concentration. Compared to homogeneous conditions, the heat dissipation rate from the most heterogeneous treatment was 110% lower at the beginning of the experiment (12.7 μJ g − 1 soil s − 1) and 50% lower when heat dissipation rates reached a peak (72.6 μJ g − 1 soil s − 1). Moreover, the peak was delayed by approximately 2 h compared to the most homogeneous treatment. When diffusion among compartments was allowed, the effect of substrate spatial heterogeneity on microbial activity was strongly diminished. Our findings emphasize the influence of substrate spatial heterogeneity on soil microbial dynamics, highlighting the importance of including it in C cycling models for a better understanding of soil C dynamics.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Shi_SBB_2021.pdf (3.35 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-03019034 , version 1 (23-11-2020)

Identifiers

Cite

Andong Shi, Arjun Chakrawal, Stefano Manzoni, Benjamin M C Fischer, Naoise Nunan, et al.. Substrate spatial heterogeneity reduces soil microbial activity. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 2021, ⟨10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.108068⟩. ⟨hal-03019034⟩
68 View
73 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More