The role of soil chemical properties, land use and plant diversity for microbial phosphorus in forest and grassland soils

Sorkau, Elisabeth; Boch, Steffen; Boeddinghaus, Runa S.; Bonkowski, Michael; Fischer, Markus; Kandeler, Ellen; Klaus, Valentin H.; Kleinebecker, Till; Marhan, Sven; Müller, Jörg; Prati, Daniel; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Weinert, Jan; Oelmann, Yvonne (2018). The role of soil chemical properties, land use and plant diversity for microbial phosphorus in forest and grassland soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 181(2), pp. 185-197. Wiley-VCH 10.1002/jpln.201700082

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Management intensity modifies soil properties, e.g., organic carbon (Corg) concentrations and soil pH with potential feedbacks on plant diversity. These changes might influence microbial P concentrations (Pmic) in soil representing an important component of the P cycle. Our objectives were to elucidate whether abiotic and biotic variables controlling Pmic concentrations in soil are the same for forests and grasslands, and to assess the effect of region and management on Pmic concentrations in forest and grassland soils as mediated by the controlling variables. In three regions of Germany, Schwäbische Alb, Hanich-Dün, and Schorfheide-Chorin, we studied forest and grassland plots (each n = 150) differing in plant diversity and land-use intensity. In contrast to controls of microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), Pmic was strongly influenced by soil pH, which in turn affected phosphorus (P) availability and thus microbial P uptake in forest and grassland soils. Furthermore, Pmic concentrations in forest and grassland soils increased with increasing plant diversity. Using structural equation models, we could show that soil Corg is the profound driver of plant diversity effects on Pmic in grasslands. For both forest and grassland, we found regional differences in Pmic attributable to differing environmental conditions (pH, soil moisture). Forest management and tree species showed no effect on Pmic due to a lack of effects on controlling variables (e.g., Corg). We also did not find management effects in grassland soils which might be caused by either compensation of differently directed effects across sites or by legacy effects of former fertilization constraining the relevance of actual practices. We conclude that variables controlling Pmic or Cmic in soil differ in part and that regional differences in controlling variables are more important for Pmic in soil than those induced by management.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Boch, Steffen; Fischer, Markus and Prati, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1436-8730

Publisher:

Wiley-VCH

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2018 14:51

Last Modified:

18 Apr 2018 14:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/jpln.201700082

Uncontrolled Keywords:

age class forest; land-use intensity; meadow; microbes; pasture; unmanaged forest

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.111826

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/111826

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