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Fate of carbohydrates and lignin in north-east Siberian permafrost soils
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Number of Authors: 152018 (English)In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, ISSN 0038-0717, E-ISSN 1879-3428, Vol. 116, p. 311-322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Permafrost soils preserve huge amounts of organic carbon (OC) prone to decomposition under changing climatic conditions. However, knowledge on the composition of soil organic matter (OM) and its transformation and vulnerability to decomposition in these soils is scarce. We determined neutral sugars and lignin-derived phenols, released by trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and CuO oxidation, respectively, within plants and soil density fractions from the active layer and the upper permafrost layer at three different tundra types (shrubby grass, shrubby tussock, shrubby lichen) in the Northeast Siberian Arctic. The heavy fraction (HF; > 1.6 g mL(-1)) was characterized by a larger enrichment of microbial sugars (hexoses vs. pentoses) and more pronotmced lignin degradation (acids vs. aldehydes) as compared to the light fraction (LF; < 1.6 g mL(-1)), showing the transformation from plant residue-dominated particulate OM to a largely microbial imprint in mineral-associated OM. In contrast to temperate and tropical soils, total neutral sugar contents and galactose plus mannose to arabinose plus xylose ratios (GM/AX) decreased in the HE with soil depth, which may indicate a process of effective recycling of microbial biomass rather than utilizing old plant materials. At the same dine, lignin-derived phenols increased and the degree of oxidative decomposition of lignin decreased with soil depth, suggesting a selective preservation of lignin presumably due to anaerobiosis. As large parts of the plant-derived pentoses are incorporated in lignocelluloses and thereby protected against rapid decomposition, this might also explain the relative enrichment of pentoses with soil depth. Hence, our results show a relatively large contribution of plant derived OM, particularly in the buried topsoil and subsoil, which is stabilized by the current soil environmental conditions but may become available to decomposers if permafrost degradation promotes soil drainage and improves the soil oxygen supply.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 116, p. 311-322
Keywords [en]
Carbohydrates, Lignin, Soil fraction, Soil biomarker, Permafrost
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152594DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.10.032ISI: 000419417900034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152594DiVA, id: diva2:1180550
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-02-06Bibliographically approved

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Wild, Birgit
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Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry
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