Riparian reforestation: Are there changes in soil carbon and soil microbial communities?

John Mackay, T Cavagnaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reforestation of pastures in riparian zones has the potential to decrease nutrient runoff into waterways, provide both terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon (C). Soil microbes can play an important role in the soil C cycle, but are rarely investigated in studies on C sequestration. We surveyed a chronosequence (0-23 years) of mixed-species plantings in riparian zones to investigate belowground (chemical and biological) responses to reforestation. For each planting, an adjacent pasture was surveyed to account for differences in soil type and land-use history among plantings. Two remnant woodlands were included in the survey as indicators of future potential of plantings. Both remnant woodlands had significantly higher soil organic C (SOC) content compared with their adjacent pastures. However, there was no clear trend in SOC content among plantings with time since reforestation. The substantial variability in SOC sequestration among plantings was possibly driven by differences in soil moisture among plantings and the inherent variability of SOC content among reference pastures adjacent to plantings. Soil microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA, an indicator of microbial biomass) and activities of decomposition enzymes (ß-glucosidase and polyphenol oxidase) did not show a clear trend with increasing planting age. Despite this, there were positive correlations between total SOC concentration and microbial indicators (total PLFA, fungal PLFA, bacterial PLFA and activities of decomposition enzymes) across all sites. The soil microbial community compositions (explored using PLFA markers) of older plantings were similar to those of remnant woodlands. There was a positive correlation between the soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N) and fungal:bacterial (F:B) ratios. These data indicate that in order to maximise SOC sequestration, we need to take into account not only C inputs, but the microbial processes that regulate SOC cycling as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-967
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume566-567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Reforestation
reforestation
soil carbon
microbial community
Carbon
organic soil
Soils
soil
pasture
carbon sequestration
woodland
riparian zone
planting
decomposition
enzyme
Enzymes
chronosequence
Glucosidases
Decomposition
Catechol Oxidase

Cite this

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title = "Riparian reforestation: Are there changes in soil carbon and soil microbial communities?",
abstract = "Reforestation of pastures in riparian zones has the potential to decrease nutrient runoff into waterways, provide both terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon (C). Soil microbes can play an important role in the soil C cycle, but are rarely investigated in studies on C sequestration. We surveyed a chronosequence (0-23 years) of mixed-species plantings in riparian zones to investigate belowground (chemical and biological) responses to reforestation. For each planting, an adjacent pasture was surveyed to account for differences in soil type and land-use history among plantings. Two remnant woodlands were included in the survey as indicators of future potential of plantings. Both remnant woodlands had significantly higher soil organic C (SOC) content compared with their adjacent pastures. However, there was no clear trend in SOC content among plantings with time since reforestation. The substantial variability in SOC sequestration among plantings was possibly driven by differences in soil moisture among plantings and the inherent variability of SOC content among reference pastures adjacent to plantings. Soil microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA, an indicator of microbial biomass) and activities of decomposition enzymes ({\ss}-glucosidase and polyphenol oxidase) did not show a clear trend with increasing planting age. Despite this, there were positive correlations between total SOC concentration and microbial indicators (total PLFA, fungal PLFA, bacterial PLFA and activities of decomposition enzymes) across all sites. The soil microbial community compositions (explored using PLFA markers) of older plantings were similar to those of remnant woodlands. There was a positive correlation between the soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N) and fungal:bacterial (F:B) ratios. These data indicate that in order to maximise SOC sequestration, we need to take into account not only C inputs, but the microbial processes that regulate SOC cycling as well.",
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Riparian reforestation: Are there changes in soil carbon and soil microbial communities? / Mackay, John; Cavagnaro, T.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 566-567, 2016, p. 960-967.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Riparian reforestation: Are there changes in soil carbon and soil microbial communities?

AU - Mackay, John

AU - Cavagnaro, T

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Reforestation of pastures in riparian zones has the potential to decrease nutrient runoff into waterways, provide both terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon (C). Soil microbes can play an important role in the soil C cycle, but are rarely investigated in studies on C sequestration. We surveyed a chronosequence (0-23 years) of mixed-species plantings in riparian zones to investigate belowground (chemical and biological) responses to reforestation. For each planting, an adjacent pasture was surveyed to account for differences in soil type and land-use history among plantings. Two remnant woodlands were included in the survey as indicators of future potential of plantings. Both remnant woodlands had significantly higher soil organic C (SOC) content compared with their adjacent pastures. However, there was no clear trend in SOC content among plantings with time since reforestation. The substantial variability in SOC sequestration among plantings was possibly driven by differences in soil moisture among plantings and the inherent variability of SOC content among reference pastures adjacent to plantings. Soil microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA, an indicator of microbial biomass) and activities of decomposition enzymes (ß-glucosidase and polyphenol oxidase) did not show a clear trend with increasing planting age. Despite this, there were positive correlations between total SOC concentration and microbial indicators (total PLFA, fungal PLFA, bacterial PLFA and activities of decomposition enzymes) across all sites. The soil microbial community compositions (explored using PLFA markers) of older plantings were similar to those of remnant woodlands. There was a positive correlation between the soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N) and fungal:bacterial (F:B) ratios. These data indicate that in order to maximise SOC sequestration, we need to take into account not only C inputs, but the microbial processes that regulate SOC cycling as well.

AB - Reforestation of pastures in riparian zones has the potential to decrease nutrient runoff into waterways, provide both terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and help mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon (C). Soil microbes can play an important role in the soil C cycle, but are rarely investigated in studies on C sequestration. We surveyed a chronosequence (0-23 years) of mixed-species plantings in riparian zones to investigate belowground (chemical and biological) responses to reforestation. For each planting, an adjacent pasture was surveyed to account for differences in soil type and land-use history among plantings. Two remnant woodlands were included in the survey as indicators of future potential of plantings. Both remnant woodlands had significantly higher soil organic C (SOC) content compared with their adjacent pastures. However, there was no clear trend in SOC content among plantings with time since reforestation. The substantial variability in SOC sequestration among plantings was possibly driven by differences in soil moisture among plantings and the inherent variability of SOC content among reference pastures adjacent to plantings. Soil microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA, an indicator of microbial biomass) and activities of decomposition enzymes (ß-glucosidase and polyphenol oxidase) did not show a clear trend with increasing planting age. Despite this, there were positive correlations between total SOC concentration and microbial indicators (total PLFA, fungal PLFA, bacterial PLFA and activities of decomposition enzymes) across all sites. The soil microbial community compositions (explored using PLFA markers) of older plantings were similar to those of remnant woodlands. There was a positive correlation between the soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N) and fungal:bacterial (F:B) ratios. These data indicate that in order to maximise SOC sequestration, we need to take into account not only C inputs, but the microbial processes that regulate SOC cycling as well.

KW - C sequestration

KW - Fungi to bacteria ratio

KW - Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA)

KW - Soil ecology

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.045

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.045

M3 - Article

VL - 566-567

SP - 960

EP - 967

JO - Science of the Total Environment

JF - Science of the Total Environment

SN - 0048-9697

ER -