Farmyard manure applications stimulate soil carbon and nitrogen cycling by boosting microbial biomass rather than changing its community composition

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Ma, Q., Wen, Y., Wang, D., Sun, X., Hill, P. W., Macdonald, A. J., Chadwick, D. R., Wu, L. and Jones, D. L. 2020. Farmyard manure applications stimulate soil carbon and nitrogen cycling by boosting microbial biomass rather than changing its community composition . Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 144, p. 107760.

AuthorsMa, Q., Wen, Y., Wang, D., Sun, X., Hill, P. W., Macdonald, A. J., Chadwick, D. R., Wu, L. and Jones, D. L.
Abstract

Land application of farmyard manure (FYM) is a widespread agronomic practice used to enhance soil fertility, but its long-term effects on soil microbial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling have not been investigated in detail. Topsoils (0–23 cm) and subsoils (23–38 cm) were collected from a field trial on a sandy-textured soil where FYM had been applied at high (50–25 t ha-1 yr-1, 28 yr) and low rates (10 t ha-1 yr-1, 16 yr), and compared to soil treated only with synthetic NPK fertilisers. The turnover rate of key components of soil organic matter (SOM; proteins, peptides, amino acids, cellulose, and glucose) were evaluated by 14C labelling and measuring cellobiohydrolase, β-glucosidase, β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase, L-leucine aminopeptidase, protease, and deaminase activities, whereas gross NH4 and NO3 production and consumption were determined by 15N-isotope pool dilution. Microbial communities were determined using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiling. Our results indicate that long-term FYM addition significantly enhanced the accumulation of soil C and N, soil organic N (SON) turnover, exoenzyme activity, and gross NO3 production and assimilation. Rates of protein, peptide, and amino acid processing rate were 169–248, 87–147, and 85–305 mg N kgDWsoil-1 d-1, respectively, gross NH4 and NO3 production and consumption were 1.8–5.8 mg N kgDWsoil-1 d-1, and the highest rates were shown under the high FYM treatment in topsoil and subsoil. The half-life of cellulose and glucose decomposition under the high FYM treatment were 16.4% and 31.0% lower than in the synthetic NPK fertiliser treatment, respectively, indicating higher rates of C cycling under high manure application as also evidenced by the higher rate of CO2 production. This was ascribed to an increase in microbial biomass rather than a change in microbial community structure. Based on the high pool sizes and high turnover rate, this suggests that peptides may represent one of the dominant forms of N taken up by soil microorganisms. We conclude that long-term FYM application builds SOM reserves and induces faster rates of nutrient cycling by boosting microbial biomass rather than by changing its community composition.

KeywordsAnimal waste; Livestock manure; Long-term experiment; Nutrient cycling; Rothamsted
Year of Publication2020
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Journal citation144, p. 107760
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.107760
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
National Natural Science Foundation of China
National Key Research and Development Program of China
UK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Agricultural Nitrogen
Funder project or codeThe Rothamsted Long Term Experiments [2017-2022]
UK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
2016YFD020010X
31872180
31572194
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Feb 2020
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0038-0717

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/97x46/farmyard-manure-applications-stimulate-soil-carbon-and-nitrogen-cycling-by-boosting-microbial-biomass-rather-than-changing-its-community-composition

Restricted files

Publisher's version

Under embargo indefinitely

14 total views
1 total downloads
1 views this month
0 downloads this month