Thresholds in aridity and soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio govern the accumulation of soil microbial residues
Microbial moribunds after microbial biomass turnover (microbial residues) contribute to the formation and stabilization of soil carbon pools; however, the factors influencing their accumulation on a global scale remain unclear. Here, we synthesized data for 268 amino sugar concentrations (biomarkers of microbial residues) in grassland and forest ecosystems for meta-analysis. We found that soil organic carbon, soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, and aridity index were key factors that predicted microbial residual carbon accumulation. Threshold aridity index and soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratios were identified (~0.768 and ~9.583, respectively), above which microbial residues decreased sharply. The aridity index threshold was associated with the humid climate range. We suggest that the soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio threshold may coincide with a sharp decrease in fungal abundance. Although dominant factors vary between ecosystem and climate zone, with soil organic carbon and aridity index being important throughout, our findings suggest that climate and soil environment may govern microbial residue accumulation.
© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Communications Earth & Environment, 2021, available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-021-00306-4 . Keywords: carbon cycle; climate-change ecology; ecosystem ecology.
Hao, Z., Zhao, Y., Wang, X. et al. Thresholds in aridity and soil carbon-to-nitrogen ratio govern the accumulation of soil microbial residues. Commun Earth Environ 2, 236 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-021-00306-4