Functional differences in the microbial processing of recent assimilates under two contrasting perennial bioenergy plantations

Elias, Dafydd M.O.; Rowe, Rebecca L.; Pereira, M. Gloria ORCID:; Stott, Andrew W.; Barnes, Christopher J.; Bending, Gary D.; McNamara, Niall P. ORCID: 2017 Functional differences in the microbial processing of recent assimilates under two contrasting perennial bioenergy plantations. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 114. 248-262.

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Land use change driven alteration of microbial communities can have implications on belowground C cycling and storage, although our understanding of the interactions between plant C inputs and soil microbes is limited. Using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA's) we profiled the microbial communities under two contrasting UK perennial bioenergy crops, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow and Miscanthus Giganteus (miscanthus), and used 13C – pulse labelling to investigate how recent carbon (C) assimilates were transferred through plant tissues to soil microbes. Total PLFA's and fungal to bacterial (F:B) ratios were higher under SRC willow (Total PLFA = 47.70 ± 1.66 SE μg PLFA g−1 dry weight soil, F:B = 0.27 ± 0.01 SE) relative to miscanthus (Total PLFA = 30.89 ± 0.73 SE μg PLFA g−1 dry weight soil, F:B = 0.17 ± 0.00 SE). Functional differences in microbial communities were highlighted by contrasting processing of labelled C. SRC willow allocated 44% of total 13C detected into fungal PLFA relative to 9% under miscanthus and 380% more 13C was returned to the atmosphere in soil respiration from SRC willow soil compared to miscanthus. Our findings elucidate the roles that bacteria and fungi play in the turnover of recent plant derived C under these two perennial bioenergy crops, and provide important evidence on the impacts of land use change to bioenergy on microbial community composition.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0038-0717
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via official URL link.
Additional Keywords: miscanthus, SRC willow, 13C, bacteria, fungi, bioenergy
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 17 Oct 2017 09:58 +0 (UTC)

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