C/P stoichiometry of dying rice root defines the spatial distribution and dynamics of enzyme activities in root-detritusphere

As the primary microbial substrate after shoot cutting, the element stoichiometry of root-detritus (dying or dead roots) influences the enzyme activity in root-detritusphere. However, the effect of the C/P ratio of root-detritus on the dynamics and distribution of enzyme activities is little revealed. We hypothesised that P fertilisation would decrease the C/P ratio of root-detritus, therefore affecting the hotspot areas and hot moments of C-acquiring and P-acquiring enzyme activities, as well as their activity ratio (C/P acquisition ratio). Root-detritus of low (59.0) and high (170.8) C/P ratios was produced in P-poor soil with and without P fertilisation, respectively. In situ soil zymography showed that the distribution of C-acquiring enzymes (β-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase) was more associated with root-detritus than P-acquiring enzymes (acid and alkaline phosphomonoesterase). P fertilisation increased the hotspot areas of C-acquiring enzyme activities over the experiment, without influencing their temporal dynamics. However, its effect on phosphomonoesterase activities depended on the decomposition and delayed the appearance of the highest hotspot areas. P supply met the microbial demand in P-fertilised soil, with high C/P acquisition ratio and constant stoichiometry of microbial biomass C (MBC)/microbial biomass P (MBP). A low C/P acquisition ratio and high MBC/MBP in non-fertilised soil was observed, indicating P limitation for microorganisms. After the 150-day incubation, Olsen P significantly increased in P-fertilised soil (P < 0.05), whereas it decreased in the root-detritusphere of non-fertilised soil. We conclude that the decomposition of root-detritus with a low C/P ratio has potential to improve soil P availability; however, C-P imbalance may increase during the decomposition of root-detritus with a high C/P ratio.

Wei Xiaomeng , Razavi Bahar S. , Hu Yajun , Xu Xingliang , Zhu Zhenke , Liu Yuhuai , Kuzyakov Yakov 1 , Li Yong , Wu Jinshui , Ge Tida
Springer Verlag
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  • 1 Российский университет дружбы народов
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Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier B.V.. Vol. 648. 2019. P. 754-771