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The fate of primed soil carbon between biomass immobilization and respiration is controlled by nutrient availability

Abstract : A positive Priming Effect (PE) is defined as an acceleration of the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) by a fresh organic matter (FOM) input. But in the literature many studies present this phenomenon as an extra loss of carbon from SOM to the atmosphere. SOM is actually a mixture of pools with different turnover rates, and microorganisms generating PE are heterotrophic. Therefore, whether PE is in fact an extra loss of C depends on the targeted SOM pool (high or low turnover) and the ratio between the incorporation of the primed carbon into microbial biomass vs its mineralization. A13 nutrient-poor tropical soil (enriched or not with a cocktail of nutrients) was incubated and submitted to two successive wheat-straw inputs with differential 13C enrichment, in order to observe the PE of one straw on the other, and to measure the specific respiration of the different carbon pools. In our nutrient-poor soil, nutrient enrichment intensified soil basal respiration while it lowered straw mineralization. Our study showed that, fresh and primed C allocation between microbial biomass and CO2 were similar and depended on the nutrient status of the soil. We did not observe any impact of freshly amended C on the fate of the previous amendment, but conversely we observed an impact of the previous organic input on the decomposition rate of the following one, as well as the allocation of the liberated C toward biomass rather than CO2.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03266886
Contributor : Dominique Fournier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 10:48:57 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, July 18, 2021 - 1:23:53 PM

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Anne-Cécile Vain, Nancy Rakotondrazafy, Kanto Razanamalala, Jean Trap, Claire Marsden, et al.. The fate of primed soil carbon between biomass immobilization and respiration is controlled by nutrient availability. European Journal of Soil Biology, Elsevier, 2021, 105, pp.103332. ⟨10.1016/j.ejsobi.2021.103332⟩. ⟨hal-03266886⟩

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