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01.09.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 6/2014

Effects of freezing–thawing cycle on peatland active organic carbon fractions and enzyme activities in the Da Xing’anling Mountains, Northeast China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
Jiaoyue Wang, Changchun Song, Aixin Hou, Yuqing Miao, Guisheng Yang, Jing Zhang

Abstract

Freezing–thawing cycle (FTC) is an important environmental factor affecting soil physicochemical properties and microbial activities. The effects of FTC at mid-high latitudes, especially in the permafrost regions impacted by global warming, have become a hot topic for research. However, the responses of active organic carbon fractions and soil enzyme activities to FTC in the active layers of permafrost regions remain far from certain. In this study, soil samples from three soil layers of (0–15, 15–30 and 30–45 cm) an undisturbed peatlands in Da Xing’anling Mountains, Northeast China, were collected, and then subjected to various FTCs with a large (10 to −10 °C) and a small (5 to −5 °C) amplitudes, respectively. Results showed that the soil active organic carbon fractions and enzyme activities were sensitive to FTCs. The FTCs significantly increased water-extracted organic carbon (WEOC) concentration in the three soil layers by approximately 5–28 % for the large amplitude and 22–36 % for the small amplitude. In contrast, FTCs significantly decreased microbial biomass carbon (MBC) concentration, cellulase, amylase and invertase activities. Overall, the damage of FTCs to soil enzymes was severe at the deeper soil depths and for the large amplitude. Interestingly, the soil WEOC concentration was lower at the large amplitude of FTC compared with the small amplitude. When the numbers of FTCs increased, WEOC concentration began to decrease and MBC concentration and enzyme activities began to increase. In addition, the significant correlations between active organic carbon fractions and enzyme activities indicate that the increased WEOC by FTCs plays an important role in soil microbes and enzyme activities.

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