Extracellular enzyme activities in tropical soils are driven by seasonal litter input

Schaap, K.J., Fuchslueger, L., Quesada, C.A., Hofhansl, F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0073-0946, Valverde-Barrantes, O., Camargo, P., & Hoosbeek, M.R. (2022). Extracellular enzyme activities in tropical soils are driven by seasonal litter input. Biogeochemistry 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1270964/v1. (In Press)

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It is relatively unknown if and how seasonal fluctuations of tropical microbial activity affect soil nutrient availability. In tropical forests, nutrient economics are often considered to be centered around phosphorus, which might be a limiting factor to sustain crucial ecosystem processes, such as primary production and decomposition of organic material, thus in turn affecting microbial processes and associated nutrient dynamics of the forest ecosystem.

We investigate seasonal fluctuations in extracellular hydrolytic soil enzyme activities and soil nutrients and its relationship with precipitation and litterfall input, in a lowland tropical forest in the Central Amazon region.

We analyzed data obtained from monitoring microbial enzyme activity and nutrient dynamics in litter and soil and use stoichiometric enzyme theory and proportional vectors for assessing relative nutrient limitation throughout a year.

Our results show that precipitation seasonality was driving leaf litterfall, which was subsequently synchronized with extracellular enzyme activities in soil, such that both litterfall and enzyme activities peaked during the dry season.

Our study indicates that soil extractable nutrient concentrations were positively related to microbial enzyme activities, which thus highlights the importance of soil microbial processes for nutrient cycling in this phosphorus limited ecosystem. Our results suggest that projected shifts in climate seasonality that result in longer and more pronounced dry seasons, might desynchronize seasonal patterns of aboveground nutrient input and belowground microbial activity, and thus leading to a decoupling of nutrient cycling in tropical forest ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services (AFE)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
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Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 16:32
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 09:50
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18518

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