Increased litter in subtropical forests boosts soil respiration in natural forests but not plantations of Castanopsis carlesii

Xiaofei Liu, Teng-Chiu Lin, Zhijie Yang, Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur, Chengfang Lin, Decheng Xiong, Weisheng Lin, Guangshui Chen, Jinsheng Xie, Yiqing Li, Yusheng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims: Changes in net primary productivity in response to climate change are likely to affect litter inputs to forest soil. However, feedbacks between changes in litter input and soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in tropical and subtropical forests. This study aims to test whether the effects of litter manipulation on soil respiration differ between natural and plantation forests. Methods: Soil respiration, soil properties, fine root biomass and enzyme activity were measured in adjacent plots with doubling vs. eliminating litter input in both natural and plantation forests of Castanopsis carlesii in southern China. Results: After only 3 years of litter manipulation, the magnitude of change in soil respiration was greater in response to a doubling of the litter input (+24%) than to the elimination of litter input (−15%) in the natural forest, possibly due to a positive priming effect on decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC). The quick and intense priming effect was corroborated by elevated enzyme activities for five of the six enzymes analyzed. In contrast, the response to litter removal (−31%) was greater than the response to litter addition (1%; not significant) in the plantation forest. The lack of positive priming in the plantation forest may be related to its lower soil fertility, which could not meet the demand of soil microbes, and to its high clay content, which protected SOC from microbial attack. The positive priming effect in the natural forest but not plantation forest of C. carlesii is also consistent with the significant declines in total soil carbon observed following litter addition in the natural forest but not the plantation forest. Conclusions: Increases in aboveground litter production may trigger priming effects and subsequently transfer more soil carbon to atmospheric CO2 in the natural forest but not in the plantation forest with low fertility. Changes in litter inputs resulting from global change drivers may have different impacts on natural and plantation forests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume418
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 1

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subtropical soils
Castanopsis
forest plantations
soil respiration
forest soils
forest soil
litter
plantation
plantations
soil carbon
soil organic carbon
soil fertility
carbon
enzyme activity
soil
natural forest
global change
soil microorganisms
organic carbon
primary productivity

Keywords

  • Carbon cycling
  • Litter addition
  • Litter removal
  • Priming effect
  • Soil respiration
  • Subtropical forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Increased litter in subtropical forests boosts soil respiration in natural forests but not plantations of Castanopsis carlesii. / Liu, Xiaofei; Lin, Teng-Chiu; Yang, Zhijie; Vadeboncoeur, Matthew A.; Lin, Chengfang; Xiong, Decheng; Lin, Weisheng; Chen, Guangshui; Xie, Jinsheng; Li, Yiqing; Yang, Yusheng.

In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 418, No. 1-2, 01.09.2017, p. 141-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Liu, X, Lin, T-C, Yang, Z, Vadeboncoeur, MA, Lin, C, Xiong, D, Lin, W, Chen, G, Xie, J, Li, Y & Yang, Y 2017, 'Increased litter in subtropical forests boosts soil respiration in natural forests but not plantations of Castanopsis carlesii', Plant and Soil, vol. 418, no. 1-2, pp. 141-151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3281-2
Liu, Xiaofei ; Lin, Teng-Chiu ; Yang, Zhijie ; Vadeboncoeur, Matthew A. ; Lin, Chengfang ; Xiong, Decheng ; Lin, Weisheng ; Chen, Guangshui ; Xie, Jinsheng ; Li, Yiqing ; Yang, Yusheng. / Increased litter in subtropical forests boosts soil respiration in natural forests but not plantations of Castanopsis carlesii. In: Plant and Soil. 2017 ; Vol. 418, No. 1-2. pp. 141-151.
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abstract = "Background and aims: Changes in net primary productivity in response to climate change are likely to affect litter inputs to forest soil. However, feedbacks between changes in litter input and soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in tropical and subtropical forests. This study aims to test whether the effects of litter manipulation on soil respiration differ between natural and plantation forests. Methods: Soil respiration, soil properties, fine root biomass and enzyme activity were measured in adjacent plots with doubling vs. eliminating litter input in both natural and plantation forests of Castanopsis carlesii in southern China. Results: After only 3 years of litter manipulation, the magnitude of change in soil respiration was greater in response to a doubling of the litter input (+24{\%}) than to the elimination of litter input (−15{\%}) in the natural forest, possibly due to a positive priming effect on decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC). The quick and intense priming effect was corroborated by elevated enzyme activities for five of the six enzymes analyzed. In contrast, the response to litter removal (−31{\%}) was greater than the response to litter addition (1{\%}; not significant) in the plantation forest. The lack of positive priming in the plantation forest may be related to its lower soil fertility, which could not meet the demand of soil microbes, and to its high clay content, which protected SOC from microbial attack. The positive priming effect in the natural forest but not plantation forest of C. carlesii is also consistent with the significant declines in total soil carbon observed following litter addition in the natural forest but not the plantation forest. Conclusions: Increases in aboveground litter production may trigger priming effects and subsequently transfer more soil carbon to atmospheric CO2 in the natural forest but not in the plantation forest with low fertility. Changes in litter inputs resulting from global change drivers may have different impacts on natural and plantation forests.",
keywords = "Carbon cycling, Litter addition, Litter removal, Priming effect, Soil respiration, Subtropical forest",
author = "Xiaofei Liu and Teng-Chiu Lin and Zhijie Yang and Vadeboncoeur, {Matthew A.} and Chengfang Lin and Decheng Xiong and Weisheng Lin and Guangshui Chen and Jinsheng Xie and Yiqing Li and Yusheng Yang",
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T1 - Increased litter in subtropical forests boosts soil respiration in natural forests but not plantations of Castanopsis carlesii

AU - Liu, Xiaofei

AU - Lin, Teng-Chiu

AU - Yang, Zhijie

AU - Vadeboncoeur, Matthew A.

AU - Lin, Chengfang

AU - Xiong, Decheng

AU - Lin, Weisheng

AU - Chen, Guangshui

AU - Xie, Jinsheng

AU - Li, Yiqing

AU - Yang, Yusheng

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - Background and aims: Changes in net primary productivity in response to climate change are likely to affect litter inputs to forest soil. However, feedbacks between changes in litter input and soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in tropical and subtropical forests. This study aims to test whether the effects of litter manipulation on soil respiration differ between natural and plantation forests. Methods: Soil respiration, soil properties, fine root biomass and enzyme activity were measured in adjacent plots with doubling vs. eliminating litter input in both natural and plantation forests of Castanopsis carlesii in southern China. Results: After only 3 years of litter manipulation, the magnitude of change in soil respiration was greater in response to a doubling of the litter input (+24%) than to the elimination of litter input (−15%) in the natural forest, possibly due to a positive priming effect on decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC). The quick and intense priming effect was corroborated by elevated enzyme activities for five of the six enzymes analyzed. In contrast, the response to litter removal (−31%) was greater than the response to litter addition (1%; not significant) in the plantation forest. The lack of positive priming in the plantation forest may be related to its lower soil fertility, which could not meet the demand of soil microbes, and to its high clay content, which protected SOC from microbial attack. The positive priming effect in the natural forest but not plantation forest of C. carlesii is also consistent with the significant declines in total soil carbon observed following litter addition in the natural forest but not the plantation forest. Conclusions: Increases in aboveground litter production may trigger priming effects and subsequently transfer more soil carbon to atmospheric CO2 in the natural forest but not in the plantation forest with low fertility. Changes in litter inputs resulting from global change drivers may have different impacts on natural and plantation forests.

AB - Background and aims: Changes in net primary productivity in response to climate change are likely to affect litter inputs to forest soil. However, feedbacks between changes in litter input and soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in tropical and subtropical forests. This study aims to test whether the effects of litter manipulation on soil respiration differ between natural and plantation forests. Methods: Soil respiration, soil properties, fine root biomass and enzyme activity were measured in adjacent plots with doubling vs. eliminating litter input in both natural and plantation forests of Castanopsis carlesii in southern China. Results: After only 3 years of litter manipulation, the magnitude of change in soil respiration was greater in response to a doubling of the litter input (+24%) than to the elimination of litter input (−15%) in the natural forest, possibly due to a positive priming effect on decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC). The quick and intense priming effect was corroborated by elevated enzyme activities for five of the six enzymes analyzed. In contrast, the response to litter removal (−31%) was greater than the response to litter addition (1%; not significant) in the plantation forest. The lack of positive priming in the plantation forest may be related to its lower soil fertility, which could not meet the demand of soil microbes, and to its high clay content, which protected SOC from microbial attack. The positive priming effect in the natural forest but not plantation forest of C. carlesii is also consistent with the significant declines in total soil carbon observed following litter addition in the natural forest but not the plantation forest. Conclusions: Increases in aboveground litter production may trigger priming effects and subsequently transfer more soil carbon to atmospheric CO2 in the natural forest but not in the plantation forest with low fertility. Changes in litter inputs resulting from global change drivers may have different impacts on natural and plantation forests.

KW - Carbon cycling

KW - Litter addition

KW - Litter removal

KW - Priming effect

KW - Soil respiration

KW - Subtropical forest

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