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The impact of salinity on the microbial response to drying and rewetting in soil

Rath, Kristin M. LU ; Maheshwari, Arpita and Rousk, Johannes LU (2017) In Soil Biology and Biochemistry 108. p.17-26
Abstract

In saline soils, the severity of drought for the soil microbial community is exacerbated by accumulating concentrations of salts during drying. In this study we investigated how bacterial growth and respiration responses to drying-rewetting were affected by salinity. To do this, we adjusted a non-saline soil to four different salinities (0, 2, 7 and 22 mg NaCl g−1), followed by addition of plant material and a one-month incubation. Following the incubation period, we assessed the moisture dependence of respiration and growth, as well as the responses of bacterial growth and respiration to a cycle of air-drying followed by rewetting to optimal moisture. The inhibition of bacterial growth and respiration by reducing moisture... (More)

In saline soils, the severity of drought for the soil microbial community is exacerbated by accumulating concentrations of salts during drying. In this study we investigated how bacterial growth and respiration responses to drying-rewetting were affected by salinity. To do this, we adjusted a non-saline soil to four different salinities (0, 2, 7 and 22 mg NaCl g−1), followed by addition of plant material and a one-month incubation. Following the incubation period, we assessed the moisture dependence of respiration and growth, as well as the responses of bacterial growth and respiration to a cycle of air-drying followed by rewetting to optimal moisture. The inhibition of bacterial growth and respiration by reducing moisture increased with higher salt concentrations. As such, salinity was shown to increase the negative impact of drying on bacterial growth and alter the bacterial growth and respiration dynamics after rewetting. Drying-rewetting of soils with low salinity resulted in an immediate onset and gradual resuscitation of bacterial growth to levels similar to before drying. In contrast, in soils with higher salinity growth increased exponentially after a lag period of several hours. The duration of the lag period induced by salinity increased with the amount of salt added. The observed lag period matched previously reported results observed in response to more severe drying by e.g. longer duration of drought and drought combined with starvation. In treatments with a salt concentration ≤7 mg NaCl g−1 a high respiration pulse occurred immediately after rewetting and subsequently respiration declined. In the most saline treatment the initial respiration was reduced below the level of continuously moist soil to later increase exponentially in parallel with the increase in bacterial growth. We conclude that soil salinity increases the inhibition of microbial activity by low moisture, that fundamentally different responses to drying-rewetting cycles can be induced, and that high salt concentrations can substantially delay the pulse of respiration induced by rewetting dry soil.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Birch effect, Extracellular enzymes, Saline soils, Sodic soils, Soil carbon cycle, Soil salinization
in
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
volume
108
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85011340390
  • wos:000395603300003
ISSN
0038-0717
DOI
10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.01.018
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
230ea16d-c450-4af5-b4b9-64918d4fb0d1
date added to LUP
2017-02-15 11:47:11
date last changed
2018-02-18 04:57:02
@article{230ea16d-c450-4af5-b4b9-64918d4fb0d1,
  abstract     = {<p>In saline soils, the severity of drought for the soil microbial community is exacerbated by accumulating concentrations of salts during drying. In this study we investigated how bacterial growth and respiration responses to drying-rewetting were affected by salinity. To do this, we adjusted a non-saline soil to four different salinities (0, 2, 7 and 22 mg NaCl g<sup>−1</sup>), followed by addition of plant material and a one-month incubation. Following the incubation period, we assessed the moisture dependence of respiration and growth, as well as the responses of bacterial growth and respiration to a cycle of air-drying followed by rewetting to optimal moisture. The inhibition of bacterial growth and respiration by reducing moisture increased with higher salt concentrations. As such, salinity was shown to increase the negative impact of drying on bacterial growth and alter the bacterial growth and respiration dynamics after rewetting. Drying-rewetting of soils with low salinity resulted in an immediate onset and gradual resuscitation of bacterial growth to levels similar to before drying. In contrast, in soils with higher salinity growth increased exponentially after a lag period of several hours. The duration of the lag period induced by salinity increased with the amount of salt added. The observed lag period matched previously reported results observed in response to more severe drying by e.g. longer duration of drought and drought combined with starvation. In treatments with a salt concentration ≤7 mg NaCl g<sup>−1</sup> a high respiration pulse occurred immediately after rewetting and subsequently respiration declined. In the most saline treatment the initial respiration was reduced below the level of continuously moist soil to later increase exponentially in parallel with the increase in bacterial growth. We conclude that soil salinity increases the inhibition of microbial activity by low moisture, that fundamentally different responses to drying-rewetting cycles can be induced, and that high salt concentrations can substantially delay the pulse of respiration induced by rewetting dry soil.</p>},
  author       = {Rath, Kristin M. and Maheshwari, Arpita and Rousk, Johannes},
  issn         = {0038-0717},
  keyword      = {Birch effect,Extracellular enzymes,Saline soils,Sodic soils,Soil carbon cycle,Soil salinization},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {17--26},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Soil Biology and Biochemistry},
  title        = {The impact of salinity on the microbial response to drying and rewetting in soil},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.01.018},
  volume       = {108},
  year         = {2017},
}