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Solar radiation exposure accelerates decomposition and biotic activity in surface litter but not soil in a semiarid woodland ecosystem in Patagonia, Argentina

Colaborador(es): Méndez, M. Soledad. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina [CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina.] | Martínez, María Laura. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina | Araujo, Patricia Inés. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Centro Regional Buenos Aires Norte. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Pergamino (EEA Pergamino). Buenos Aires, Argentina | Austin, Amy Theresa. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina. CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires. Instituto de Investigaciones Fisiológicas y Ecológicas Vinculadas a la Agricultura (IFEVA). Buenos Aires, Argentina.
ISSN: 1573-5036.Tipo de material: Recurso electrónico. Artículos y capítulos.Tema(s): ß - GLUCOSIDASE | CARBON CYCLE | LITTER DECOMPOSITION | PHOTODEGRADATION | PHOTOFACILITATION | SEMI ARID ECOSYSTEMS | SOLAR RADIATION | UV RADIATION | PATAGONIA | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR En: Plant and soil vol. 445 (2019), p.483-496, grafs., tbls., fot.Resumen: Aims Photodegradation of senescent plant material has been identified as an important vector of aboveground carbon (C) loss in aridland ecosystems, but the consequences for biotic activity and soil C in the field are not well understood.Methods We established an experiment in a semiarid woodlandin Patagonia, Argentina with attenuation of solar radiation and additions of leaf litter to evaluate impacts of photo degradation on changes in labile C and biotic activity in aboveground litter and surface soils. Results Litter decomposition was significantly accelerated by exposure to solar radiation. Moreover, labile sugars (hexoses and pentoses), microbial enzymatic activity (βglucosidase activity) and available carbohydrates for cellulase degradation (saccharification) all significantly increased in sunlight - exposed litter. None of these stimulatory effects were observed in the surface soils exposed to sunlight. On the contrary, soil microbial biomass and ßglucosidase activity in surface soils were significantly greater only with litter addition and attenuated sunlight. Conclusions Our results suggest that photodegradation of plant litter (production of volatile compounds through photochemical mineralization) and photofacilitation (stimulation of biotic activity due to change in litter chemistry with exposure to sunlight) generate rapid turnover of C in aboveground litter. The consequences of this accelerated C turnover may be that a fraction of leaf litter de composes indisdirectly released back tothe atmosphere as CO2 and never enters soil organic matter pool. Taken together, these results highlight the functional importance of solarradiation indeterminingthe C balance in semiarid ecosystems.
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Aims Photodegradation of senescent plant material has been identified as an important vector of aboveground carbon (C) loss in aridland ecosystems, but the consequences for biotic activity and soil C in the field are not well understood.Methods We established an experiment in a semiarid woodlandin Patagonia, Argentina with attenuation of solar radiation and additions of leaf litter to evaluate impacts of photo degradation on changes in labile C and biotic activity in aboveground litter and surface soils.
Results Litter decomposition was significantly accelerated by exposure to solar radiation.
Moreover, labile sugars (hexoses and pentoses), microbial enzymatic activity (βglucosidase activity) and available carbohydrates for cellulase degradation (saccharification) all significantly increased in sunlight - exposed litter.
None of these stimulatory effects were observed in the surface soils exposed to sunlight.
On the contrary, soil microbial biomass and ßglucosidase activity in surface soils were significantly greater only with litter addition and attenuated sunlight.
Conclusions Our results suggest that photodegradation of plant litter (production of volatile compounds through photochemical mineralization) and photofacilitation (stimulation of biotic activity due to change in litter chemistry with exposure to sunlight) generate rapid turnover of C in aboveground litter.
The consequences of this accelerated C turnover may be that a fraction of leaf litter de composes indisdirectly released back tothe atmosphere as CO2 and never enters soil organic matter pool.
Taken together, these results highlight the functional importance of solarradiation indeterminingthe C balance in semiarid ecosystems.

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