Fuqiang Song: The effects of long-term in situ N addition on the Korean pine plantation soil microbes and their regulation of soil priming effect 

Fuqiang Song: The effects of long-term in situ N addition on the Korean pine plantation soil microbes and their regulation of soil priming effect 

In this new post, Professor Fuqiang Song of Heilongjiang University presents his work ‘Nitrogen addition suppresses soil positive priming effect in temperate plantations: evidence from an 8-year in situ field experiment’. He shows the effects of long-term in situ N addition on temperate plantation soil microbes and their regulation of soil priming effect. 

About the paper 

The rate of soil organic carbon decomposition is altered when there is an input of exogenous carbon to the soil, which is defined as the priming effect (PE). The process, largely driven by soil microbes, determines soil carbon emissions and is essential for accurately predicting feedbacks between the terrestrial carbon cycle and global changes. In fact, the direction and magnitude of soil PE are influenced by various biotic and abiotic factors in the environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, reactive N deposition on the Earth’s surface has been continuously increasing, and this N imbalance is expected to intensify in the future. Different chemical forms and additions of N can mediate soil microbial communities and activities, thus regulating soil PE. To date, the potential mechanisms of biotic and abiotic influences on soil PE have not been fully resolved, and in particular, there is a lack of research on the response to long-term N addition. 

About the research 

The field long-term controlled trial is the key to this study. We sincerely appreciate Prof Guangze Jin from Northeast Forestry University for supplying the sample plots. I took several teachers and students to collect soil samples for subsequent indoor incubation tests in the laboratory. Our findings contribute to accurately assess the soil carbon sequestration potential of plantations under the influence of N deposition. We found that N addition had different effects on soil bacterial and fungal community structure. In addition, the effects of N addition on microbes with different growth strategies were extremely complex. The R-strategists and K-strategists affected by different concentrations of N addition were mostly different. N addition also suppressed soil positive PE and promoted an increase in soil net carbon, implying that long-term in situ N addition may promote SOC accumulation in temperate plantation soils. In fact, there are multiple ecological processes involved, warranting increased attention in future studies.

Members of samples collection, from left to right: Mengmeng Zhang, Xin Sui, Fuqiang Song, Guodong Huang, Yuhan Feng (credit: Fuqiang Song) 

About the author

I have dedicated decades to ecological research, initially driven by a profound curiosity and a deep-seated passion for the field of ecology. I am obsessed with exploring the relationships between organisms and their environments and enjoy the challenge of unravelling them in my research. Over time, the growing urgency of ecological issues reinforced my desire to solve real-world problems and my sense of responsibility for the protection and restoration of ecosystems, and this has been the driving force behind my commitment to ecological research and teaching. Currently, my main research interests include: fungi in extreme environments and their metabolites, microbiology of carbon and nitrogen transformations in soils, ecological biotechnology, biopreparation for remediation of soil. Currently I have more than 140 experimental papers in microbial ecology and ecological restoration, 6 scientific books, and 17 authorized inventors/patents in China.

Members of our group (credit: Feng Shi)

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