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Nutrient optimization of tree growth alters structure and function of boreal soil food webs
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden & Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Ecological Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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2018 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, E-ISSN 1872-7042, Vol. 428, p. 46-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nutrient optimization has been proposed as a way to increase boreal forest production, and involves chronic additions of liquid fertilizer with amounts of micro- and macro-nutrients adjusted annually to match tree nutritional requirements. We used a short-term (maintained since 2007) and a long-term (maintained since 1987) fertilization experiment in northern Sweden, in order to understand nutrient optimization effects on soil microbiota and mesofauna, and to explore the relationships between plant litter and microbial elemental stoichiometry. Soil microbes, soil fauna, and aboveground litter were collected from the control plots, and short- and long-term nutrient optimization plots. Correlation analyses revealed no relationships between microbial biomass and litter nutrient ratios. Litter C:N, C:P and N:P ratios declined in response to both optimization treatments; while only microbial C:P ratios declined in response to long-term nutrient optimization. Further, we found that both short- and long-term optimization treatments decreased total microbial, fungal, and bacterial PLFA biomass and shifted the microbial community structure towards a lower fungi:bacterial ratio. In contrast, abundances of most fungal- and bacterial-feeding soil biota were little affected by the nutrient optimization treatments. However, abundance of hemi-edaphic Collembola declined in response to the long-term nutrient optimization treatment. The relative abundances (%) of fungal-feeding and plant-feeding nematodes, respectively, declined and increased in response to both short-term and long-term treatments; bacterial-feeding nematodes increased relative to fungal feeders. Overall, our results demonstrate that long-term nutrient optimization aiming to increase forest production decreases litter C:N, C:P and N:P ratios, microbial C:P ratios and fungal biomass, whereas higher trophic levels are less affected. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 428, p. 46-56
Keywords [en]
Nematode, Mesofauna, Microbes, Boreal forest, Ecological stoichiometry, Leaf litter quality, Nutrient ratios
National Category
Biological Systematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-38134DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.06.034ISI: 000440770600006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049090888OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-38134DiVA, id: diva2:1254769
Note

Funding: the Center for Environmental Research in Umeå (CMF; grant number: CMF1122373) and the Swedish Research Council (FORMAS; grant number: 2010-67).

Available from: 2018-10-10 Created: 2018-10-10 Last updated: 2019-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Liess, Antonia

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