Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Effects of stoichiometry and temperature perturbations on beech leaf litter decomposition, enzyme activities and protein expression


Keiblinger, K M; Schneider, T; Roschitzki, B; Schmid, E; Eberl, L; Hämmerle, I; Leitner, S; Richter, A; Wanek, W; Riedel, K; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S (2012). Effects of stoichiometry and temperature perturbations on beech leaf litter decomposition, enzyme activities and protein expression. Biogeosciences, 9(11):4537-4551.

Abstract

Microbes are major players in leaf litter decomposition and therefore advances in the understanding of their control on element cycling are of paramount importance. Our aim was to investigate the influence of leaf litter stoichiometry in terms of carbon (C) : nitrogen (N) : phosphorus (P) ratios on the decomposition processes and to track changes in microbial community structures and functions in response to temperature stress treatments. To elucidate how the stoichiometry of beech leaf litter (Fagus sylvatica L.) and stress treatments interactively affect the microbial decomposition processes, a terrestrial microcosm experiment was conducted. Beech litter from different Austrian sites covering C:N ratios from 39 to 61 and C:P ratios from 666 to 1729 were incubated at 15 °C and 60% moisture for six months. Part of the microcosms were then subjected to severe changes in temperature (+30 °C and −15 °C) to monitor the influence of temperature stress. Extracellular enzyme activities were assayed and respiratory activities measured. A semi-quantitative metaproteomics approach (1D-SDS PAGE combined with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry; unique spectral counting) was employed to investigate the impact of the applied stress treatments in dependency of litter stoichiometry on structure and function of the decomposing community. In litter with narrow C:nutrient (C:N, C:P) ratios, microbial decomposers were most abundant. Cellulase, chitinase, phosphatase and protease activity decreased after heat and freezing treatments. Decomposer communities and specific functions varied with site, i.e. stoichiometry. The applied stress combined with the respective time of sampling evoked changes of enzyme activities and litter pH. Freezing treatments resulted in a decline in residual plant litter material and increased fungal abundance, indicating slightly accelerated decomposition. Overall, a strong effect of litter stoichiometry on microbial community structures and functions was detected, but decomposition was mainly driven by a combination of the investigated factors. Temperature perturbations resulted in short- to medium-term alterations of microbial functions; especially high temperature treatments blocked decomposing enzymes.

Abstract

Microbes are major players in leaf litter decomposition and therefore advances in the understanding of their control on element cycling are of paramount importance. Our aim was to investigate the influence of leaf litter stoichiometry in terms of carbon (C) : nitrogen (N) : phosphorus (P) ratios on the decomposition processes and to track changes in microbial community structures and functions in response to temperature stress treatments. To elucidate how the stoichiometry of beech leaf litter (Fagus sylvatica L.) and stress treatments interactively affect the microbial decomposition processes, a terrestrial microcosm experiment was conducted. Beech litter from different Austrian sites covering C:N ratios from 39 to 61 and C:P ratios from 666 to 1729 were incubated at 15 °C and 60% moisture for six months. Part of the microcosms were then subjected to severe changes in temperature (+30 °C and −15 °C) to monitor the influence of temperature stress. Extracellular enzyme activities were assayed and respiratory activities measured. A semi-quantitative metaproteomics approach (1D-SDS PAGE combined with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry; unique spectral counting) was employed to investigate the impact of the applied stress treatments in dependency of litter stoichiometry on structure and function of the decomposing community. In litter with narrow C:nutrient (C:N, C:P) ratios, microbial decomposers were most abundant. Cellulase, chitinase, phosphatase and protease activity decreased after heat and freezing treatments. Decomposer communities and specific functions varied with site, i.e. stoichiometry. The applied stress combined with the respective time of sampling evoked changes of enzyme activities and litter pH. Freezing treatments resulted in a decline in residual plant litter material and increased fungal abundance, indicating slightly accelerated decomposition. Overall, a strong effect of litter stoichiometry on microbial community structures and functions was detected, but decomposition was mainly driven by a combination of the investigated factors. Temperature perturbations resulted in short- to medium-term alterations of microbial functions; especially high temperature treatments blocked decomposing enzymes.

Statistics

Citations

16 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

83 downloads since deposited on 30 Jan 2013
17 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Functional Genomics Center Zurich
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
580 Plants (Botany)
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:30 Jan 2013 09:31
Last Modified:01 Sep 2017 15:29
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1726-4170
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4537-2012

Download

Download PDF  'Effects of stoichiometry and temperature perturbations on beech leaf litter decomposition, enzyme activities and protein expression'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 686kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)