Impact of fertilization on soil polyphenol dynamics and carbon accumulation in a tea plantation, Southern China
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The strong role that soil polyphenols play in soil organic matter (SOM) formation affects soil carbon sequestration. N deposition, which comes from man-made fertilizer, influences plant growth and soil biochemical properties therefore greatly regulates soil polyphenol metabolism. The objective of this experiment was to understand the effect of fertilizer form and rate on soil polyphenol dynamics as well as to understand the potential relationship between soil phenols and C accumulation.
Materials and methods
Urea, rapeseed cake, and chicken manure, respectively, referred as N, B, and F in the text, were applied at three rates (low N, medium N, and high N, referred as 1, 2, and 3 in the text, respectively); plots without fertilization were set as control (CK, for short). Seasonal dynamics of soil total polyphenol (Tp) and bound polyphenol (Bp) concentrations were monitored. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD), and soil fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis activities, all factors relevant to polyphenol metabolism, were measured simultaneously. The relationship between soil polyphenols and soil C concentration was also determined.
Results and discussion
N-fertilization altered the seasonal change pattern and the accumulation level of soil Tp and Bp, which possibly resulted from the enhancement of soil microbial activities and the change of soil nutrient status. Positive linear correlation was observed between soil Tp and TC (total C) contents, which means fertilization could influence C accumulation through affecting the metabolism of soil polyphenols. Soil chemical characteristics and enzyme activities that relate to soil polyphenol metabolism were influenced by fertilization as well. Mitigated TC increment was observed in most fertilization treatments mainly due to the increased SOM decomposition rate.
Our findings reveal the important role of soil phenols played in C accumulation in a tea plantation due to the significant, positive linear relationship between soil Tp and TC. Long-term studies, combined with soil microorganism community structure, soil humification, and tea leaf litter decomposition experiments, are necessary for fully understanding the role that polyphenols play in soil C cycle.
KeywordsCarbon accumulation Fluorescein diacetate hydrolase Polyphenol oxidase Peroxidase Soil polyphenols
The authors would like to thank Professors Yaoping Luo and Hairong Xu for the assistance with the experimental design and Professor Zhihong Xu for the suggestion of the academic writing and other members in the Xiaochang Wang'lab. This work was financially supported through grants from the Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture (0812201215), Unilever (China) Limited Shanghai Branch New (H20151653), and the National Key Research and Development Plan (2016YFD0200900).
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