A keystone microbial enzyme for nitrogen control of soil carbon storage

Ji Chen, Yiqi Luo, Kees Jan Van Groenigen, Bruce A Hungate, Junji Cao, Xuhui Zhou, Rui wu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agricultural and industrial activities have increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition to ecosystems worldwide. N deposition can stimulate plant growth and soil carbon (C) input, enhancing soil C storage. Changes in microbial decomposition could also influence soil C storage, yet this influence has been difficult to discern, partly because of the variable effects of added N on the microbial enzymes involved. We show, using meta-analysis, that added N reduced the activity of lignin-modifying enzymes (LMEs), and that this N-induced enzyme suppression was associated with increases in soil C. In contrast, N-induced changes in cellulase activity were unrelated to changes in soil C. Moreover, the effects of added soil N on LME activity accounted for more of the variation in responses of soil C than a wide range of other environmental and experimental factors. Our results suggest that, through responses of a single enzyme system to added N, soil microorganisms drive long-term changes in soil C accumulation. Incorporating this microbial influence on ecosystem biogeochemistry into Earth system models could improve predictions of ecosystem C dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaaq1689
JournalScience advances
Volume4
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018

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soil carbon
carbon sequestration
enzyme
nitrogen
soil
lignin
ecosystem
soil microorganism
meta-analysis
biogeochemistry
long-term change
enzyme activity
decomposition
prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Chen, J., Luo, Y., Van Groenigen, K. J., Hungate, B. A., Cao, J., Zhou, X., & Wang, R. W. (2018). A keystone microbial enzyme for nitrogen control of soil carbon storage. Science advances, 4(8), [eaaq1689]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaq1689

A keystone microbial enzyme for nitrogen control of soil carbon storage. / Chen, Ji; Luo, Yiqi; Van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Hungate, Bruce A; Cao, Junji; Zhou, Xuhui; Wang, Rui wu.

In: Science advances, Vol. 4, No. 8, eaaq1689, 22.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chen, J, Luo, Y, Van Groenigen, KJ, Hungate, BA, Cao, J, Zhou, X & Wang, RW 2018, 'A keystone microbial enzyme for nitrogen control of soil carbon storage' Science advances, vol. 4, no. 8, eaaq1689. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaq1689
Chen, Ji ; Luo, Yiqi ; Van Groenigen, Kees Jan ; Hungate, Bruce A ; Cao, Junji ; Zhou, Xuhui ; Wang, Rui wu. / A keystone microbial enzyme for nitrogen control of soil carbon storage. In: Science advances. 2018 ; Vol. 4, No. 8.
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