Short-term microbial respiration in an arid zone mangrove soil is limited by availability of gallic acid, phosphorus and ammonium

Tegan K.R. Davies, Catherine E. Lovelock, Neil E. Pettit, Pauline F. Grierson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Microbial activity in soils of oligotrophic, arid zone mangroves is likely strongly limited by carbon (C) and nutrient availability, where even small changes in microbial activity could result in significant shifts in ecosystem functioning. We hypothesised that microbial respiration in arid mangrove ecosystems is primarily limited by supply of labile C sources. We measured short-term respiration responses to addition of glucose, citric acid, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium (NH4 +), nitrate (NO3 ), urea and glutamic acid to mangrove soils from different tidal positions and soil depths in the laboratory using an adaptation of the MicroResp™ procedure (μg CO2-C g soil−1 hr−1). We also measured short-term respiration responses to added glucose, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium and urea in the field using an infrared gas analyser (g CO2 m−2 hr−1). Both laboratory and field measurements indicated microbial communities were limited by gallic acid, phosphate and ammonium. Respiration rates were enhanced in both the laboratory and the field after addition of gallic acid but not glucose, suggesting adaptations of the arid microbial community to more complex C sources. Addition of phosphate alone and in combination with other substrates enhanced respiration more than ten-fold in the laboratory. In the field, nutrient addition (ammonium and/or phosphate) generally induced greater respiration responses in the surface soils (0–1 cm) compared to subsurface (>1 cm), which we attribute to more nutrient-limited autotrophic microbes in the surface soils. Addition of phosphate also induced slightly higher activity in the low intertidal fringing forests compared to high intertidal scrub forests. Our results contrast with studies of more productive tropical mangrove systems and demonstrate the critical role of microorganisms in maintaining organic matter turnover and nutrient supply in a relatively pristine and water-limited environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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mangrove soils
Gallic Acid
gallic acid
Ammonium Compounds
Phosphorus
arid zones
mangrove
Respiration
respiration
Soil
ammonium
phosphate
phosphates
phosphorus
acid
Food
Phosphates
glucose
soil
Glucose

Cite this

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title = "Short-term microbial respiration in an arid zone mangrove soil is limited by availability of gallic acid, phosphorus and ammonium",
abstract = "Microbial activity in soils of oligotrophic, arid zone mangroves is likely strongly limited by carbon (C) and nutrient availability, where even small changes in microbial activity could result in significant shifts in ecosystem functioning. We hypothesised that microbial respiration in arid mangrove ecosystems is primarily limited by supply of labile C sources. We measured short-term respiration responses to addition of glucose, citric acid, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium (NH4 +), nitrate (NO3 −), urea and glutamic acid to mangrove soils from different tidal positions and soil depths in the laboratory using an adaptation of the MicroResp™ procedure (μg CO2-C g soil−1 hr−1). We also measured short-term respiration responses to added glucose, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium and urea in the field using an infrared gas analyser (g CO2 m−2 hr−1). Both laboratory and field measurements indicated microbial communities were limited by gallic acid, phosphate and ammonium. Respiration rates were enhanced in both the laboratory and the field after addition of gallic acid but not glucose, suggesting adaptations of the arid microbial community to more complex C sources. Addition of phosphate alone and in combination with other substrates enhanced respiration more than ten-fold in the laboratory. In the field, nutrient addition (ammonium and/or phosphate) generally induced greater respiration responses in the surface soils (0–1 cm) compared to subsurface (>1 cm), which we attribute to more nutrient-limited autotrophic microbes in the surface soils. Addition of phosphate also induced slightly higher activity in the low intertidal fringing forests compared to high intertidal scrub forests. Our results contrast with studies of more productive tropical mangrove systems and demonstrate the critical role of microorganisms in maintaining organic matter turnover and nutrient supply in a relatively pristine and water-limited environment.",
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Short-term microbial respiration in an arid zone mangrove soil is limited by availability of gallic acid, phosphorus and ammonium. / Davies, Tegan K.R.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Pettit, Neil E.; Grierson, Pauline F.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 115, 01.12.2017, p. 73-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Short-term microbial respiration in an arid zone mangrove soil is limited by availability of gallic acid, phosphorus and ammonium

AU - Davies, Tegan K.R.

AU - Lovelock, Catherine E.

AU - Pettit, Neil E.

AU - Grierson, Pauline F.

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - Microbial activity in soils of oligotrophic, arid zone mangroves is likely strongly limited by carbon (C) and nutrient availability, where even small changes in microbial activity could result in significant shifts in ecosystem functioning. We hypothesised that microbial respiration in arid mangrove ecosystems is primarily limited by supply of labile C sources. We measured short-term respiration responses to addition of glucose, citric acid, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium (NH4 +), nitrate (NO3 −), urea and glutamic acid to mangrove soils from different tidal positions and soil depths in the laboratory using an adaptation of the MicroResp™ procedure (μg CO2-C g soil−1 hr−1). We also measured short-term respiration responses to added glucose, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium and urea in the field using an infrared gas analyser (g CO2 m−2 hr−1). Both laboratory and field measurements indicated microbial communities were limited by gallic acid, phosphate and ammonium. Respiration rates were enhanced in both the laboratory and the field after addition of gallic acid but not glucose, suggesting adaptations of the arid microbial community to more complex C sources. Addition of phosphate alone and in combination with other substrates enhanced respiration more than ten-fold in the laboratory. In the field, nutrient addition (ammonium and/or phosphate) generally induced greater respiration responses in the surface soils (0–1 cm) compared to subsurface (>1 cm), which we attribute to more nutrient-limited autotrophic microbes in the surface soils. Addition of phosphate also induced slightly higher activity in the low intertidal fringing forests compared to high intertidal scrub forests. Our results contrast with studies of more productive tropical mangrove systems and demonstrate the critical role of microorganisms in maintaining organic matter turnover and nutrient supply in a relatively pristine and water-limited environment.

AB - Microbial activity in soils of oligotrophic, arid zone mangroves is likely strongly limited by carbon (C) and nutrient availability, where even small changes in microbial activity could result in significant shifts in ecosystem functioning. We hypothesised that microbial respiration in arid mangrove ecosystems is primarily limited by supply of labile C sources. We measured short-term respiration responses to addition of glucose, citric acid, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium (NH4 +), nitrate (NO3 −), urea and glutamic acid to mangrove soils from different tidal positions and soil depths in the laboratory using an adaptation of the MicroResp™ procedure (μg CO2-C g soil−1 hr−1). We also measured short-term respiration responses to added glucose, gallic acid, phosphate, ammonium and urea in the field using an infrared gas analyser (g CO2 m−2 hr−1). Both laboratory and field measurements indicated microbial communities were limited by gallic acid, phosphate and ammonium. Respiration rates were enhanced in both the laboratory and the field after addition of gallic acid but not glucose, suggesting adaptations of the arid microbial community to more complex C sources. Addition of phosphate alone and in combination with other substrates enhanced respiration more than ten-fold in the laboratory. In the field, nutrient addition (ammonium and/or phosphate) generally induced greater respiration responses in the surface soils (0–1 cm) compared to subsurface (>1 cm), which we attribute to more nutrient-limited autotrophic microbes in the surface soils. Addition of phosphate also induced slightly higher activity in the low intertidal fringing forests compared to high intertidal scrub forests. Our results contrast with studies of more productive tropical mangrove systems and demonstrate the critical role of microorganisms in maintaining organic matter turnover and nutrient supply in a relatively pristine and water-limited environment.

KW - Avicennia marina

KW - Exmouth Gulf

KW - Microbial respiration

KW - Nutrient and carbon limitation

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U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.08.010

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.08.010

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