Fungi regulate the response of the N 2O production process to warming and grazing in a Tibetan grassland

Zhong, Lei; Wang, Shiping; Xu, Xingliang; Wang, Yanfen; Rui, Yichao; Zhou, Xiaoqi; Shen, Qinhua; Wang, Jinzhi; Jiang, Lili; Luo, Caiyun; Gu, Tianbao; Ma, Wenchao; Chen, Guanyi

Lack of understanding of the effects of warming and winter grazing on soil fungal contribution to the nitrous oxide (inline-formulaN2O) production process has limited our ability to predict inline-formulaN2O fluxes under changes in climate and land use management, because soil fungi play an important role in driving terrestrial N cycling. A controlled warming and winter grazing experiment that included control (C), winter grazing (G), warming (W) and warming with winter grazing (WG) was conducted to investigate the effects of warming and winter grazing on soil inline-formulaN2O production potential in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results showed that soil bacteria and fungi contributed inline-formula46 ± 2 % and inline-formula54 ± 2 % to nitrification, and inline-formula37 ± 3 % and inline-formula63 ± 3 % to denitrification in the control treatment, respectively. We conclude that soil fungi could be the main source of inline-formulaN2O production potential for the Tibetan alpine grasslands. In our results, neither warming nor winter grazing affected the activity of enzymes responsible for overall nitrification and denitrification. However, warming significantly increased the enzyme activity of bacterial nitrification and potential of inline-formulaN2O production from denitrification to inline-formula53 ± 2 % and inline-formula55 ± 3 %, respectively, but decreased them to inline-formula47 ± 2 % and inline-formula45 ± 3 %, respectively. Winter grazing had no such effects. Warming and winter grazing may not affect the soil inline-formulaN2O production potential, but climate warming can alter biotic pathways responsible for inline-formulaN2O production process. These findings confirm the importance of soil fungi in the soil inline-formulaN2O production process and how they respond to environmental and land use changes in alpine meadow ecosystems. Therefore, our results provide some new insights into ecological controls on the inline-formulaN2O production process and contribute to the development of an ecosystem nitrogen cycle model.

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Zhong, Lei / Wang, Shiping / Xu, Xingliang / et al: Fungi regulate the response of the N2O production process to warming and grazing in a Tibetan grassland. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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