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Impact of soil fauna on lignin degradation of two foliar litters in an alpine meadow during freezing-thawing period*(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

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Impact of soil fauna on lignin degradation of two foliar litters in an alpine meadow during freezing-thawing period*
PENG Yan1 YANG Wanqin1 XUE Qiao2 LI Jun1 WANG Bin1 TAN Bo1 & WU Fuzhong1**
1Long-term Research Station of Alpine Forest Ecosystem, Key Laboratory of Ecological Forestry Engineering, Institute of Ecology and Forestry, Sichuan Agriculture University, Chengdu 611130, China 2Lixian Forestry Bureau, Lixian 623100, China
cold biomes lignin degradation litter decomposition seasonal freezing-thawing soil fauna

Strong freezing and frequent freeze-thaw cycles could accelerate lignin degradation during litter decomposition in alpine meadow during the seasonal freezing-thawing period, which plays an important role in keeping circulation of materials and the balance of ecosystem nutrients. However, little information is currently available about whether soil fauna has obvious effects on lignin degradation under the crucial environment conditions during the freezing-thawing period in alpine meadow. Using litterbags with different mesh sizes, we conducted a field experiment to investigate the contribution of soil fauna to lignin degradation of two foliar litters in the freezing-thawing period in an alpine meadow on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. The predominant plants were Ajania nubigena and Carex atrofusca, and the litterbags were sampled in the pre-freezing period, the freezing period and the thawing period from November 2013 to April 2014. Soil fauna showed an obvious effect on the lignin degradation of foliar litter in the alpine meadow over the freezing-thawing period. The lignin degradation rate of A. nubigena and C. atrofusca foliar litter driven by soil fauna (Cfau) was 19.41% and 2.02%, respectively, with the corresponding contribution rate of soil fauna to litter lignin degradation rate (Pfau) as 32.47% for A. nubigena, and 2.33% for C. atrofusca. However, the effect of soil fauna to litter lignin degradation was different in different freezing-thawing stages. Among all, the thawing period showed the highest lignin degradation rate of A. nubigena foliar litter driven by soil fauna (17.59%), and the freezing period (-5.12%) the lowest one. In contrast, lignin degradation rate of C. atrofusca foliar litter (13.59%) was the highest in thepre-freezing period, but the lowest in the thawing period (-0.27%). Additionally, Cfau and Pfau were significantly correlated with negative accumulated temperature (P < 0.05), but insignificantly with the initial litter quality. These results suggested that soil fauna obviously affect lignin degradation during foliar litter decomposition in winter; the temperature and freeze-thaw dynamics could have greater impact than the litter quality on the lignin degradation processes in the alpine meadow.


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Last Update: 2016-04-25