Controls on the Temperature Sensitivity of Soil Enzymes: A Key Driver of In Situ Enzyme Activity Rates

  • Matthew WallensteinEmail author
  • Steven D. Allison
  • Jessica Ernakovich
  • J. Megan Steinweg
  • Robert Sinsabaugh
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 22)


Enzyme activities are commonly measured in lab assays at a single standard temperature, which does not provide any information on their temperature sensitivity. Temperature is one of the primary controls on enzyme activities, yet few studies have explored how temperature drives enzyme activities in the environment. The temperature sensitivity of enzyme activity is controlled by the structure and conformation of the isoenzymes that constitute an environmental enzyme pool as well as physical and chemical interactions with soil minerals, clays, and organic matter. Yet, these complex relationships are typically represented by a simple Q 10 of 2. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that even for the same enzyme class, temperature sensitivities vary between soils, and even seasonally in a single site. We will explore the controls on enzyme temperature sensitivity and their importance for understanding seasonal patterns in soil processes and their potential responses to global change.


Soil Respiration Temperature Sensitivity Extracellular Enzyme Thermophilic Enzyme Extracellular Enzyme Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Wallenstein
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Steven D. Allison
    • 2
  • Jessica Ernakovich
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Megan Steinweg
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robert Sinsabaugh
    • 4
  1. 1.Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Graduate Degree Program in EcologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of New MexicoAluquerqueUSA

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