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

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

2016 02
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Impact of soil fauna on lignin degradation of two foliar litters in an alpinemeadow 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, China2Lixian 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 inalpine meadow during the seasonal freezing-thawing period, which plays an important role in keeping circulation of materialsand the balance of ecosystem nutrients. However, little information is currently available about whether soil fauna has obviouseffects 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 tolignin degradation of two foliar litters in the freezing-thawing period in an alpine meadow on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Thepredominant plants were Ajania nubigena and Carex atrofusca, and the litterbags were sampled in the pre-freezing period, thefreezing period and the thawing period from November 2013 to April 2014. Soil fauna showed an obvious effect on the lignindegradation of foliar litter in the alpine meadow over the freezing-thawing period. The lignin degradation rate of A. nubigenaand C. atrofusca foliar litter driven by soil fauna (Cfau) was 19.41% and 2.02%, respectively, with the corresponding contributionrate of soil fauna to litter lignin degradation rate (Pfau) as 32.47% for A. nubigena, and 2.33% for C. atrofusca. However, theeffect of soil fauna to litter lignin degradation was different in different freezing-thawing stages. Among all, the thawingperiod showed the highest lignin degradation rate of A. nubigena foliar litter driven by soil fauna (17.59%), and the freezingperiod (-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 correlatedwith negative accumulated temperature (P < 0.05), but insignificantly with the initial litter quality. These results suggested thatsoil fauna obviously affect lignin degradation during foliar litter decomposition in winter; the temperature and freeze-thawdynamics could have greater impact than the litter quality on the lignin degradation processes in the alpine meadow.


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