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Soil texture can predominantly control organic matter mineralization in temperate climates by regulating soil moisture rather than through direct stabilization

Haichao Li (UGent) , Jan Van den Bulcke (UGent) , Orly Milton Mendoza Aguirre (UGent) , Heleen Deroo (UGent) , Geert Haesaert (UGent) , Kevin Dewitte (UGent) , Stefaan De Neve (UGent) and Steven Sleutel (UGent)
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Abstract
Soil organic carbon (OC) levels generally increase with increasing clay and silt content under a similar climatic zone because of increased association of OC to clay minerals and stronger occlusion inside aggregates. Surprisingly though, in Western Europe many silt loam soils actually bear low topsoil OC levels compared to lighter textured soils. Soil texture obviously also strongly controls moisture availability with consequent indirect impact on heterotrophic activity. We hypothesized that with increasingly frequent summer drought: 1) soil microbial activity in sandy soils is more likely impeded due to their limited water holding capacity retention during droughts, while soil OC mineralization in silty soils remain be less drought-limited; 2) capillary rise from sufficiently shallow groundwater would, on the other hand, alleviate the water stress in lighter textures. To test these hypotheses, we established a one-year field trial with manipulation of soil texture, monitoring of soil moisture and maize-C decomposition via 13/12C-CO2 emissions. The upper 0.5 m soil layer was replaced by sand, sandy loam and silt loam soil with low soil OC. Another sandy soil treatment with a gravel layer was also included beneath the sand layer to exclude capillary rise. Soil texture did not affect maize-C mineralization (Cmaize-min) until April 2019 and thereafter Cmaize-min rates were higher in the silt loam than in the sandy soils (P=0.01). θv correlated positively with the Cmaize-min rate for the sand-textured soils only but not for the finer textures. These results clearly highlight that soil texture controlled Cmaize-min indirectly through regulating moisture under the field conditions starting from about May, when soils faced a period of drought. By the end of the experiment, more added Cmaize was mineralized in the silt loam soil (81%) (P<0.05) than in the sandy soil (56%). Capillary rise did not result in a significant increase in cumulative Cmaize-min in the sandy soil, seemingly because the capillary fringe did not reach the sandy topsoil layer. These results imply that, under future climate scenarios the frequency of drought is expected to increase, the largely unimpeded microbial activity in silty soils might lead to a further stronger difference in soil OC with coarser textured soils under similar management.

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MLA
Li, Haichao, et al. “Soil Texture Can Predominantly Control Organic Matter Mineralization in Temperate Climates by Regulating Soil Moisture Rather than through Direct Stabilization.” EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts, European Geosciences Union, 2021, doi:10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4424.
APA
Li, H., Van den Bulcke, J., Mendoza Aguirre, O. M., Deroo, H., Haesaert, G., Dewitte, K., … Sleutel, S. (2021). Soil texture can predominantly control organic matter mineralization in temperate climates by regulating soil moisture rather than through direct stabilization. EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts. Presented at the EGU General Assembly 2021 (EGU21), Online. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4424
Chicago author-date
Li, Haichao, Jan Van den Bulcke, Orly Milton Mendoza Aguirre, Heleen Deroo, Geert Haesaert, Kevin Dewitte, Stefaan De Neve, and Steven Sleutel. 2021. “Soil Texture Can Predominantly Control Organic Matter Mineralization in Temperate Climates by Regulating Soil Moisture Rather than through Direct Stabilization.” In EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts. European Geosciences Union. https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4424.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Li, Haichao, Jan Van den Bulcke, Orly Milton Mendoza Aguirre, Heleen Deroo, Geert Haesaert, Kevin Dewitte, Stefaan De Neve, and Steven Sleutel. 2021. “Soil Texture Can Predominantly Control Organic Matter Mineralization in Temperate Climates by Regulating Soil Moisture Rather than through Direct Stabilization.” In EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts. European Geosciences Union. doi:10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4424.
Vancouver
1.
Li H, Van den Bulcke J, Mendoza Aguirre OM, Deroo H, Haesaert G, Dewitte K, et al. Soil texture can predominantly control organic matter mineralization in temperate climates by regulating soil moisture rather than through direct stabilization. In: EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts. European Geosciences Union; 2021.
IEEE
[1]
H. Li et al., “Soil texture can predominantly control organic matter mineralization in temperate climates by regulating soil moisture rather than through direct stabilization,” in EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts, Online, 2021.
@inproceedings{8706252,
  abstract     = {{Soil organic carbon (OC) levels generally increase with increasing clay and silt content under a similar climatic zone because of increased association of OC to clay minerals and stronger occlusion inside aggregates. Surprisingly though, in Western Europe many silt loam soils actually bear low topsoil OC levels compared to lighter textured soils. Soil texture obviously also strongly controls moisture availability with consequent indirect impact on heterotrophic activity. We hypothesized that with increasingly frequent summer drought: 1) soil microbial activity in sandy soils is more likely impeded due to their limited water holding capacity retention during droughts, while soil OC mineralization in silty soils remain be less drought-limited; 2) capillary rise from sufficiently shallow groundwater would, on the other hand, alleviate the water stress in lighter textures. To test these hypotheses, we established a one-year field trial with manipulation of soil texture, monitoring of soil moisture and maize-C decomposition via 13/12C-CO2 emissions. The upper 0.5 m soil layer was replaced by sand, sandy loam and silt loam soil with low soil OC. Another sandy soil treatment with a gravel layer was also included beneath the sand layer to exclude capillary rise. Soil texture did not affect maize-C mineralization (Cmaize-min) until April 2019 and thereafter Cmaize-min rates were higher in the silt loam than in the sandy soils (P=0.01). θv correlated positively with the Cmaize-min rate for the sand-textured soils only but not for the finer textures. These results clearly highlight that soil texture controlled Cmaize-min indirectly through regulating moisture under the field conditions starting from about May, when soils faced a period of drought. By the end of the experiment, more added Cmaize was mineralized in the silt loam soil (81%) (P<0.05) than in the sandy soil (56%). Capillary rise did not result in a significant increase in cumulative Cmaize-min in the sandy soil, seemingly because the capillary fringe did not reach the sandy topsoil layer. These results imply that, under future climate scenarios the frequency of drought is expected to increase, the largely unimpeded microbial activity in silty soils might lead to a further stronger difference in soil OC with coarser textured soils under similar management.}},
  articleno    = {{EGU21-4424}},
  author       = {{Li, Haichao and Van den Bulcke, Jan and Mendoza Aguirre, Orly Milton and Deroo, Heleen and Haesaert, Geert and Dewitte, Kevin and De Neve, Stefaan and Sleutel, Steven}},
  booktitle    = {{EGU General Assembly 2021, Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Online}},
  pages        = {{1}},
  publisher    = {{European Geosciences Union}},
  title        = {{Soil texture can predominantly control organic matter mineralization in temperate climates by regulating soil moisture rather than through direct stabilization}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4424}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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