Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Physico-chemical and microbiological evidence of exposure effects on Picea abies – Coarse woody debris at different stages of decay


Gómez-Brandón, María; Ascher-Jenull, Judith; Bardelli, Tommaso; Fornasier, Flavio; Fravolini, Giulia; Arfaioli, Paola; Ceccherini, Maria Teresa; Pietramellara, Giacomo; Lamorski, Krzysztof; Sławiński, Cezary; Bertoldi, Daniela; Egli, Markus; Cherubini, Paolo; Insam, Heribert (2017). Physico-chemical and microbiological evidence of exposure effects on Picea abies – Coarse woody debris at different stages of decay. Forest Ecology and Management, 391:376-389.

Abstract

Although slope aspect determines the amount of solar irradiation, with implications on the functioning of forest ecosystems, little is known yet about how this affects the aboveground deadwood decomposition dynamics. Therefore, we set up a climosequence case study to evaluate the impact of slope exposure (north- vs. south-facing sites) on the physico-chemical and microbiological properties of Picea abies coarse woody debris (CWD) at different stages of natural decay (decay classes, DCls 1–5) in an Italian Alpine setting. Variations in bacterial, fungal and archaeal abundances were assessed by real-time PCR in the extra- and intracellular DNA fractions (eDNA vs. iDNA) of the total deadwood DNA pool. Physico-chemical wood properties (macro- and micronutrients; lignin and cellulose content; 3D structure via X-ray microtomography) were also performed along with the determination of key enzymatic activities involved in the main nutrient cycles. Overall, higher microbial abundances were registered in Picea abies CWD samples at the cooler, more acidic and moister north-facing site, which are favourable conditions especially for fungal wood decomposers. This thermal signal (N > S) was more evident for the advanced decay stages (DCls 4 and 5), being wood pH the most determinant factor for discriminating between both slopes. We also found that the impact of exposure was enzyme-specific and strongly dependent on the decay class, except for those enzymes involved in the P cycle. In addition, the eDNA/iDNA ratio provided a simple yet powerful index of microbial activity in terms of exposure, with lower values at the north-facing slope indicative of a higher microbial activity. This is in line with the more pronounced physical wood damage detected at this slope by the X-ray microtomography. A higher microbial activity at the cooler north-facing site rather seems surprising – a circumstance that probably is not due to temperature itself but due to increased moisture availability at this slope.

Abstract

Although slope aspect determines the amount of solar irradiation, with implications on the functioning of forest ecosystems, little is known yet about how this affects the aboveground deadwood decomposition dynamics. Therefore, we set up a climosequence case study to evaluate the impact of slope exposure (north- vs. south-facing sites) on the physico-chemical and microbiological properties of Picea abies coarse woody debris (CWD) at different stages of natural decay (decay classes, DCls 1–5) in an Italian Alpine setting. Variations in bacterial, fungal and archaeal abundances were assessed by real-time PCR in the extra- and intracellular DNA fractions (eDNA vs. iDNA) of the total deadwood DNA pool. Physico-chemical wood properties (macro- and micronutrients; lignin and cellulose content; 3D structure via X-ray microtomography) were also performed along with the determination of key enzymatic activities involved in the main nutrient cycles. Overall, higher microbial abundances were registered in Picea abies CWD samples at the cooler, more acidic and moister north-facing site, which are favourable conditions especially for fungal wood decomposers. This thermal signal (N > S) was more evident for the advanced decay stages (DCls 4 and 5), being wood pH the most determinant factor for discriminating between both slopes. We also found that the impact of exposure was enzyme-specific and strongly dependent on the decay class, except for those enzymes involved in the P cycle. In addition, the eDNA/iDNA ratio provided a simple yet powerful index of microbial activity in terms of exposure, with lower values at the north-facing slope indicative of a higher microbial activity. This is in line with the more pronounced physical wood damage detected at this slope by the X-ray microtomography. A higher microbial activity at the cooler north-facing site rather seems surprising – a circumstance that probably is not due to temperature itself but due to increased moisture availability at this slope.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
7 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
6 citations in Microsoft Academic
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 23 Jan 2018
2 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Forestry, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law, Nature and Landscape Conservation
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:23 Jan 2018 16:51
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 13:20
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-1127
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2017.02.033

Download