Changes in Soil Substrate and Microbial Properties Associated with Permafrost Thaw Reduce Nitrogen Mineralization

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  • Xue Yang
  • Xiaoying Jin
  • Sizhong Yang
  • Huijun Jin
  • Hongwei Wang
  • Xiaoying Li
  • Ruixia He
  • Junfeng Wang
  • Zhizhong Sun
  • Yun, Hanbo

Anticipated permafrost thaw in upcoming decades may exert significant impacts on forest soil nitrogen (N) dynamics. The rate of soil N mineralization (Nmin) plays a crucial role in determining soil N availability. Nevertheless, our understanding remains limited regarding how biotic and abiotic factors influence the Nmin of forest soil in response to permafrost thaw. In this study, we investigated the implications of permafrost thaw on Nmin within a hemiboreal forest based on a field investigation along the degree of permafrost thaw, having monitored permafrost conditions for eight years. The results indicate that permafrost thaw markedly decreased Nmin values. Furthermore, Nmin demonstrated positive associations with soil substrates (namely, soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen), microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, and soil moisture content. The decline in Nmin due to permafrost thaw was primarily attributed to the diminished quality and quantity of soil substrates rather than alterations in plant community composition. Collectively, our results underscore the pivotal role of soil substrate and microbial biomass in guiding forest soil N transformations in the face of climate-induced permafrost thaw.

Udgave nummer10
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41771080, 42201139, and 42271155); Startup Funds of Northeast Forestry University for Chengdong Leadership (Grant No. LJ2020-01); Fundamental Research Fund for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2572021DT08); Heilongjiang Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. GZ20220103); China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2022M710648); Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Foundation (Grant No. LBH-Z21088); the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering Open Fund (Grant No. SKLFSE202118); and the Danish National Research Foundation (Grant No. CENPERM DNRF 100).

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© 2023 by the authors.

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