Pedosphere 28(4): 644--655, 2018
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2018 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effect of Soil Drying Intensity During an Experimental Drying-Rewetting Event on Nutrient Transformation and Microbial Community Composition
SUN Dasheng1, BI Qingfang2, LI Kejie2, ZHU Jun2, ZHANG Qichun3, JIN Chongwei2,4, LU Lingli2,4, LIN Xianyong2,4
1College of Resources and Environment, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801(China)
2Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, Ministry of Education, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058(China)
3Institute of Soil and Water Resources and Environment, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058(China)
4Key Laboratory of Subtropical Soil Science and Plant Nutrition of Zhejiang Province, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058(China)
      Soil drying-rewetting (DRW) events affect nutrient transformation and microbial community composition; however, little is known about the influence of drying intensity during the DRW events. Therefore, we analyzed soil nutrient composition and microbial communities with exposure to various drying intensities during an experimental drying-rewetting event, using a silt loam from a grassland of northern China, where the semi-arid climate exposes soils to a wide range of moisture conditions, and grasslands account for over 40% of the nation's land area. We also conducted a sterilization experiment to examine the contribution of soil microbes to nutrient pulses. Soil drying-rewetting decreased carbon (C) mineralization by 9%-27%. Both monosaccharide and mineral nitrogen (N) contents increased with higher drying intensities (drying to ≤ 10% gravimetric water content), with the increases being 204% and 110% with the highest drying intensity (drying to 2% gravimetric water content), respectively, whereas labile phosphorus (P) only increased (by 105%) with the highest drying intensity. Moreover, levels of microbial biomass C and N and dissolved organic N decreased with increasing drying intensity and were correlated with increases in dissolved organic C and mineral N, respectively, whereas the increases in labile P were not consistent with reductions in microbial biomass P. The sterilization experiment results indicated that microbes were primarily responsible for the C and N pulses, whereas non-microbial factors were the main contributors to the labile P pulses. Phospholipid fatty acid analysis indicated that soil microbes were highly resistant to drying-rewetting events and that drought-resistant groups were probably responsible for nutrient transformation. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that moderate soil drying during drying-rewetting events could improve the mineralization of N, but not P, and that different mechanisms were responsible for the C, N, and P pulses observed during drying-rewetting events.
Key Words:  drought-resistant microbial groups,gravimetric water content,microbial biomass,nutrient mineralization,nutrient pulse,soil microbes,soil respiration
Citation: Sun D S, Bi Q F, Li K J, Zhu J, Zhang Q C, Jin C W, Lu L L, Lin X Y. 2018. Effect of soil drying intensity during an experimental drying-rewetting event on nutrient transformation and microbial community composition. Pedosphere. 28(4): 644–655.
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