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Open AccessArticle

Nitrogen Addition Affects Soil Respiration Primarily through Changes in Microbial Community Structure and Biomass in a Subtropical Natural Forest

1
State Key Laboratory for Subtropical Mountain Ecology of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Fujian Province, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
2
School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
3
Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(5), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050435
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 19 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
Forest soil respiration plays an important role in global carbon (C) cycling. Owing to the high degree of C and nitrogen (N) cycle coupling, N deposition rates may greatly influence forest soil respiration, and possibly even global C cycling. Soil microbes play a crucial role in regulating the biosphere–atmosphere C exchange; however, how microbes respond to N addition remains uncertain. To better understand this process, the experiment was performed in the Castanopsis kawakamii Hayata Nature Reserve, in the subtropical zone of China. Treatments involved applying different levels of N (0, 40, and 80 kg ha−2 year−1) over a three-year period (January 2013–December 2015) to explore how soil physicochemical properties, respiration rate, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) concentration, and solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance responded to various N addition rate. Results showed that high levels of N addition significantly decreased soil respiration; however, low levels of N addition significantly increased soil respiration. High levels of N reduced soil pH and enhanced P and C co-limitation of microorganisms, leading to significant reductions in total PLFA and changes in the structure of microbial communities. Significant linear relationships were observed between annual cumulative respiration and the concentration of microbial biomass (total PLFA, gram-positive bacteria (G+), gram-negative bacteria (G), total bacteria, and fungi) and the microbial community structure (G+: G ratio). Taken together, increasing N deposition changed microbial community structure and suppressed microbial biomass, ultimately leading to recalcitrant C accumulation and soil C emissions decrease in subtropical forest. View Full-Text
Keywords: N addition; soil respiration; microbe; subtropical forest N addition; soil respiration; microbe; subtropical forest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, J.; Liu, X.; Xie, J.; Lyu, M.; Zheng, Y.; You, Z.; Fan, Y.; Lin, C.; Chen, G.; Chen, Y.; Yang, Y. Nitrogen Addition Affects Soil Respiration Primarily through Changes in Microbial Community Structure and Biomass in a Subtropical Natural Forest. Forests 2019, 10, 435.

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