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Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 27;8(1):1154. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01230-y.

Microbial mineralization of cellulose in frozen soils.

Author information

1
Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skogsmarksgränd, Umeå, SE-901 83, Sweden. javier.segura@slu.se.
2
Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skogsmarksgränd, Umeå, SE-901 83, Sweden.
3
Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-901 87, Sweden.
4
Industrial Chemistry & Reaction Engineering, Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo-Turku, FI-20500, Finland.
5
Iggesund Paperboard, Iggesund, SE-825 80, Sweden.
6
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Umeå University, Umeå, SE-901 87, Sweden.
7
Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Skogsmarksgränd, Umeå, SE-901 83, Sweden. mats.oquist@slu.se.

Abstract

High-latitude soils store ~40% of the global soil carbon and experience winters of up to 6 months or more. The winter soil CO2 efflux importantly contributes to the annual CO2 budget. Microorganisms can metabolize short chain carbon compounds in frozen soils. However, soil organic matter (SOM) is dominated by biopolymers, requiring exoenzymatic hydrolysis prior to mineralization. For winter SOM decomposition to have a substantial influence on soil carbon balances it is crucial whether or not biopolymers can be metabolized in frozen soils. We added 13C-labeled cellulose to frozen (-4 °C) mesocosms of boreal forest soil and followed its decomposition. Here we show that cellulose biopolymers are hydrolyzed under frozen conditions sustaining both CO2 production and microbial growth contributing to slow, but persistent, SOM mineralization. Given the long periods with frozen soils at high latitudes these findings are essential for understanding the contribution from winter to the global carbon balance.

PMID:
29074961
PMCID:
PMC5658388
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-01230-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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