Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 481–493 | Cite as

Effects of carbon and phosphorus addition on microbial respiration, N2O emission, and gross nitrogen mineralization in a phosphorus-limited grassland soil

  • Kazi R. Mehnaz
  • Claudia Keitel
  • Feike A. Dijkstra
Original Paper
  • 175 Downloads

Abstract

Soil microbes are frequently limited by carbon (C), but also have a high phosphorus (P) requirement. Little is known about the effect of P availability relative to the availability of C on soil microbial activity. In two separate experiments, we assessed the effect of P addition (20 mg P kg−1 soil) with and without glucose addition (500 mg C kg−1 soil) on gross nitrogen (N) mineralization (15N pool dilution method), microbial respiration, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission in a grassland soil. In the first experiment, soils were incubated for 13 days at 90% water holding capacity (WHC) with addition of NO3 (99 mg N kg−1 soil) to support denitrification. Addition of C and P had no effect on gross N mineralization. Initially, N2O emission significantly increased with glucose, but it decreased at later stages of the incubation, suggesting a shift from C to NO3 limitation of denitrifiers. P addition increased the N2O/CO2 ratio without glucose but decreased it with glucose addition. Furthermore, the 15N recovery was lowest with glucose and without P addition, suggesting a glucose by P interaction on the denitrifying community. In the second experiment, soils were incubated for 2 days at 75% WHC without N addition. Glucose addition increased soil 15N recovery, but had no effect on gross N mineralization. Possibly, glucose addition increased short-term microbial N immobilization, thereby reducing N-substrates for nitrification and denitrification under more aerobic conditions. Our results indicate that both C and P affect N transformations in this grassland soil.

Keywords

15N recovery Denitrification Grassland Gross N mineralization Microbial respiration N2O emission 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Hero Tahaei and Janani Vimalathithen for their assistance in soil chemical analyses. This research was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (FT100100779).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazi R. Mehnaz
    • 1
  • Claudia Keitel
    • 1
  • Feike A. Dijkstra
    • 1
  1. 1.Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental SciencesThe University of SydneyCamdenAustralia

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