Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3306
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Feedback interactions between needle litter decomposition and rhizosphere activity
Authors: Subke, Jens-Arne
Hahn, Volker
Battipaglia, Giovanna
Linder, Sune
Buchmann, Nina
Cotrufo, M Francesca
Contact Email: jens-arne.subke@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Soil organic matter
Stable C isotopes
Forest girdling
Soil CO2 efflux
Microbial biomass
Issue Date: May-2004
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Citation: Subke J, Hahn V, Battipaglia G, Linder S, Buchmann N & Cotrufo MF (2004) Feedback interactions between needle litter decomposition and rhizosphere activity, Oecologia, 139 (4), pp. 551-559.
Abstract: The aim of our study was to identify interactions between the decomposition of aboveground litter and rhizosphere activity. The experimental approach combined the placement of labelled litter (δ13C=−37.9‰) with forest girdling in a 35-year-old Norway spruce stand, resulting in four different treatment combinations: GL (girdled, litter), GNL (girdled, no litter), NGL (not girdled, litter), and NGNL (not girdled, no litter). Monthly sampling of soil CO2 efflux and δ13C of soil respired CO2 between May and October 2002 allowed the partitioning of the flux into that derived from the labelled litter, and that derived from native soil organic matter and roots. The effect of forest girdling on soil CO2 efflux was detectable from June (girdling took place in April), and resulted in GNL fluxes to be about 50% of NGNL fluxes by late August. The presence of litter resulted in significantly increased fluxes for the first 2 months of the experiment, with significantly greater litter derived fluxes from non-girdled plots and a significant interaction between girdling and litter treatments over the same period. For NGL collars, the additional efflux was found to originate only in part from litter decomposition, but also from the decay of native soil organic matter. In GL collars, this priming effect was not significant, indicating an active role of the rhizosphere in soil priming. The results therefore indicate mutual positive feedbacks between litter decomposition and rhizosphere activity. Soil biological analysis (microbial and fungal biomass) of the organic layers indicated greatest activity below NGL collars, and we suppose that this increase indicates the mechanism of mutual positive feedback between rhizosphere activity and litter decomposition. However, elimination of fresh C input from both above- and belowground (GNL) also resulted in greater fungal abundance than for the NGNL treatment, indicating likely changes in fungal community structure (i.e. a shift from symbiotic to saprotrophic species abundance).
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3306
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-004-1540-4
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author; you can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
Second University of Naples
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
Second University of Naples

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