Soil microbial biomass and the fate of phosphorus during long-term ecosystem development

B.L. Turner, Hans Lambers, L.M. Condron, Michael Cramer, J.R. Leake, Alan Richardson, S.E. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    77 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract


    Background
    Soil phosphorus availability declines during long-term ecosystem development on stable land surfaces due to a gradual loss of phosphorus in runoff and transformation of primary mineral phosphate into secondary minerals and organic compounds. These changes have been linked to a reduction in plant biomass as ecosystems age, but the implications for belowground organisms remain unknown.
    Methods
    We constructed a phosphorus budget for the well-studied 120,000 year temperate rainforest chronosequence at Franz Josef, New Zealand. The budget included the amounts of phosphorus in plant biomass, soil microbial biomass, and other soil pools.
    Results
    Soil microbes contained 68–78 % of the total biomass phosphorus (i.e. plant plus microbial) for the majority of the 120,000 year chronosequence. In contrast, plant phosphorus was a relatively small pool that occurred predominantly in wood. This points to the central role of the microbial biomass in determining phosphorus availability as ecosystems mature, yet also indicates the likelihood of strong competition between plants and saprotrophic microbes for soil phosphorus.
    Conclusions
    This novel perspective on terrestrial biogeochemistry challenges our understanding of phosphorus cycling by identifying soil microbes as the major biological phosphorus pool during long-term ecosystem development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)225 - 234
    JournalPlant and Soil
    Volume367
    Issue number1-2
    Early online date20 Nov 2012
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013

    Fingerprint

    microbial biomass
    phosphorus
    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    biomass
    soil
    chronosequences
    chronosequence
    soil microorganisms
    phosphate minerals
    biogeochemistry
    secondary mineral
    organic compounds
    rainforest
    rain forests
    land surface
    organic compound
    runoff
    phosphate
    minerals

    Cite this

    Turner, B.L. ; Lambers, Hans ; Condron, L.M. ; Cramer, Michael ; Leake, J.R. ; Richardson, Alan ; Smith, S.E. / Soil microbial biomass and the fate of phosphorus during long-term ecosystem development. In: Plant and Soil. 2013 ; Vol. 367, No. 1-2. pp. 225 - 234.
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    abstract = "BackgroundSoil phosphorus availability declines during long-term ecosystem development on stable land surfaces due to a gradual loss of phosphorus in runoff and transformation of primary mineral phosphate into secondary minerals and organic compounds. These changes have been linked to a reduction in plant biomass as ecosystems age, but the implications for belowground organisms remain unknown.MethodsWe constructed a phosphorus budget for the well-studied 120,000 year temperate rainforest chronosequence at Franz Josef, New Zealand. The budget included the amounts of phosphorus in plant biomass, soil microbial biomass, and other soil pools.ResultsSoil microbes contained 68–78 {\%} of the total biomass phosphorus (i.e. plant plus microbial) for the majority of the 120,000 year chronosequence. In contrast, plant phosphorus was a relatively small pool that occurred predominantly in wood. This points to the central role of the microbial biomass in determining phosphorus availability as ecosystems mature, yet also indicates the likelihood of strong competition between plants and saprotrophic microbes for soil phosphorus.Conclusions This novel perspective on terrestrial biogeochemistry challenges our understanding of phosphorus cycling by identifying soil microbes as the major biological phosphorus pool during long-term ecosystem development.",
    author = "B.L. Turner and Hans Lambers and L.M. Condron and Michael Cramer and J.R. Leake and Alan Richardson and S.E. Smith",
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    Soil microbial biomass and the fate of phosphorus during long-term ecosystem development. / Turner, B.L.; Lambers, Hans; Condron, L.M.; Cramer, Michael; Leake, J.R.; Richardson, Alan; Smith, S.E.

    In: Plant and Soil, Vol. 367, No. 1-2, 01.06.2013, p. 225 - 234.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Soil microbial biomass and the fate of phosphorus during long-term ecosystem development

    AU - Turner, B.L.

    AU - Lambers, Hans

    AU - Condron, L.M.

    AU - Cramer, Michael

    AU - Leake, J.R.

    AU - Richardson, Alan

    AU - Smith, S.E.

    PY - 2013/6/1

    Y1 - 2013/6/1

    N2 - BackgroundSoil phosphorus availability declines during long-term ecosystem development on stable land surfaces due to a gradual loss of phosphorus in runoff and transformation of primary mineral phosphate into secondary minerals and organic compounds. These changes have been linked to a reduction in plant biomass as ecosystems age, but the implications for belowground organisms remain unknown.MethodsWe constructed a phosphorus budget for the well-studied 120,000 year temperate rainforest chronosequence at Franz Josef, New Zealand. The budget included the amounts of phosphorus in plant biomass, soil microbial biomass, and other soil pools.ResultsSoil microbes contained 68–78 % of the total biomass phosphorus (i.e. plant plus microbial) for the majority of the 120,000 year chronosequence. In contrast, plant phosphorus was a relatively small pool that occurred predominantly in wood. This points to the central role of the microbial biomass in determining phosphorus availability as ecosystems mature, yet also indicates the likelihood of strong competition between plants and saprotrophic microbes for soil phosphorus.Conclusions This novel perspective on terrestrial biogeochemistry challenges our understanding of phosphorus cycling by identifying soil microbes as the major biological phosphorus pool during long-term ecosystem development.

    AB - BackgroundSoil phosphorus availability declines during long-term ecosystem development on stable land surfaces due to a gradual loss of phosphorus in runoff and transformation of primary mineral phosphate into secondary minerals and organic compounds. These changes have been linked to a reduction in plant biomass as ecosystems age, but the implications for belowground organisms remain unknown.MethodsWe constructed a phosphorus budget for the well-studied 120,000 year temperate rainforest chronosequence at Franz Josef, New Zealand. The budget included the amounts of phosphorus in plant biomass, soil microbial biomass, and other soil pools.ResultsSoil microbes contained 68–78 % of the total biomass phosphorus (i.e. plant plus microbial) for the majority of the 120,000 year chronosequence. In contrast, plant phosphorus was a relatively small pool that occurred predominantly in wood. This points to the central role of the microbial biomass in determining phosphorus availability as ecosystems mature, yet also indicates the likelihood of strong competition between plants and saprotrophic microbes for soil phosphorus.Conclusions This novel perspective on terrestrial biogeochemistry challenges our understanding of phosphorus cycling by identifying soil microbes as the major biological phosphorus pool during long-term ecosystem development.

    U2 - 10.1007/s11104-012-1493-z

    DO - 10.1007/s11104-012-1493-z

    M3 - Article

    VL - 367

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    JO - Plant and Soil: An International Journal on Plant-Soil Relationships

    JF - Plant and Soil: An International Journal on Plant-Soil Relationships

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    IS - 1-2

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