SP13e Biomass and activity of the soil microbial community as a function of biodiversity and erosion potential in subtropical forests (FOR891_sp13e microbe activity)

As a huge dynamic reservoir of biodiversity and metabolic potentials, soil microorganisms shape nutrient cycling and ecosystem functions. Within the first stage of FOR 981, SP7 analyzed biomass of major groups of soil microorganisms by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiling in 12 comparative study plots (CSPs) of a reference megadiverse subtrotical forest in South China. In the new SP13, this line will be deepened and extended. In addition to PLFA and, soil respiration, enzyme activities, and potential nitrification, will be analysed in three areas: 1) By considering all 27 CSPs it is expected to further determine whether forest biomass and tree species composition are the main drivers of total soil microbial biomass and its repartition between different functional groups; 2) In the main experiment, we expect that after the initial disturbance of implementation, tree diversity, planted to mimic species extinction scenarios, will have an impact on the soil microbial community (which will also be related to soil erosion); and 3) By participating in the new litter decomposition experiment, (NILEx, with subproject 5) we expect to provide links between decomposition dynamics, litter diversity, and microbial biomass, structure, and activity.


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