The activities of CO2 emission, N2 fixation, and denitrification, as well as the physiological state of the community of microbial decomposers are assessed at different stages of decay of coarse woody debris (CWD) in the incubation experiments with the Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) and the humus horizon of podzolic soil (Retisol). The CWD of five decomposition stages and soil are sampled at the experimental plots of the Central Forest State Reserve (Tver oblast, Russia). The maximum CO2 emissions are associated with CWD decay stages III and IV. In addition, characteristic of these stages are the maximum values of the important indices of CWD and soil microbial activity, such as the substrate-induced respiration (SIR, 50 µg C–CO2/(g h), share of easily decomposable С in organic matter (A1, 66%), and metabolic quotient qCO2 (0.78). Unlike the CO2 emission, the maximum activity of N2 fixation is recorded earlier, during decay stage II. The N2 fixation and denitrification activities indicate a gradual and intricately regulated transition process from the properties of CWD bacterial and fungal communities to those in soil during stages II, III, and IV. A dramatic decrease (more than threefold) is observed only for the C : N ratio in CWD at decay stage IV as compared with stage III. Although the CO2 emission at stage V sharply decreases, the CWD organic matter is less stable as compared with that of the Retisol.
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The authors thank A.K. Kvitkina (Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences) for her assistance in the organization of soil sampling and sample conveyance to laboratory.
The activities of carbon cycle processes (about half experimental work) were determined under state project no. 122040500037-6. The study of the nitrogen cycle as well as sampling, sample conveyance, and storage was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (agreement no. 075-15-2021-1396).
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Translated by G. Chirikova
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Yevdokimov, I.V., Kostina, N.V., Bykhovets, S.S. et al. Activities of CO2 Emission, N2 Fixation, and Denitrification during the Decay of Norway Spruce Coarse Woody Debris in Southern Taiga. Eurasian Soil Sc. 56, 321–328 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1064229322602347