Soil microbial responses to labile carbon input differ in adjacent sugarcane and forest soils

Brackin, Richard, Robinson, Nicole, Lakshmanan, Prakash and Schmidt, Susanne (2014) Soil microbial responses to labile carbon input differ in adjacent sugarcane and forest soils. Soil Research, 52 3: 307-316. doi:10.1071/SR13276

Author Brackin, Richard
Robinson, Nicole
Lakshmanan, Prakash
Schmidt, Susanne
Title Soil microbial responses to labile carbon input differ in adjacent sugarcane and forest soils
Journal name Soil Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1838-675X
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/SR13276
Volume 52
Issue 3
Start page 307
End page 316
Total pages 10
Place of publication Clayton, VIC Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Soil microbial activity can be constrained by availability of energy because soil carbon (C) occurs mostly as complex soil organic matter (SOM), with relatively small quantities of high-energy, labile C. Decomposition of SOM is mediated by energy-requiring processes that need extracellular enzymes produced by soil microbial communities. We examined how an increase in energy status via sucrose supplementation affects the production of SOM-degrading enzymes, comparing matched soils under forest and sugarcane agriculture with histories of contrasting inputs of complex and labile C. Activities of SOM-degrading enzymes increased in both soils after sucrose addition, but CO2 production increased more rapidly in the sugarcane soil. The forest soil had greater increases in phosphatase and glucosidase activities, whereas the sugarcane soil had greater increases in protease and urease activity. The contrasting microbial community-level physiological profiles of the soils further diverged at 30 and 61 days after sucrose amendment, before returning to near pre-treatment profiles by 150 days. We interpreted the increasing soil enzyme production as indicative that enzyme production was limited by energy availability in both soils, despite contrasting histories of labile v. recalcitrant C supply. Quicker responses in sugarcane soil suggest pre-selection towards populations that exploit labile inputs.
Keyword Land use change
Soil function
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2015 Collection
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