Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale

Robert L. Sinsabaugh, Christian L. Lauber, Michael N. Weintraub, Bony Ahmed, Steven D. Allison, Chelsea Crenshaw, Alexandra R. Contosta, Daniela Cusack, Serita Frey, Marcy E. Gallo, Tracy B. Gartner, Sarah E. Hobbie, Keri Holland, Bonnie L. Keeler, Jennifer S. Powers, Martina Stursova, Cristina Takacs-Vesbach, Mark P. Waldrop, Matthew D. Wallenstein, Donald R. ZakLydia H. Zeglin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

729 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extracellular enzymes are the proximate agents of organic matter decomposition and measures of these activities can be used as indicators of microbial nutrient demand. We conducted a global-scale meta-analysis of the seven-most widely measured soil enzyme activities, using data from 40 ecosystems. The activities of β-1,4-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase and phosphatase g-1 soil increased with organic matter concentration; leucine aminopeptidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase activities showed no relationship. All activities were significantly related to soil pH. Specific activities, i.e. activity g-1 soil organic matter, also varied in relation to soil pH for all enzymes. Relationships with mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP) were generally weak. For hydrolases, ratios of specific C, N and P acquisition activities converged on 1 : 1 : 1 but across ecosystems, the ratio of C : P acquisition was inversely related to MAP and MAT while the ratio of C : N acquisition increased with MAP. Oxidative activities were more variable than hydrolytic activities and increased with soil pH. Our analyses indicate that the enzymatic potential for hydrolyzing the labile components of soil organic matter is tied to substrate availability, soil pH and the stoichiometry of microbial nutrient demand. The enzymatic potential for oxidizing the recalcitrant fractions of soil organic material, which is a proximate control on soil organic matter accumulation, is most strongly related to soil pH. These trends provide insight into the biogeochemical processes that create global patterns in ecological stoichiometry and organic matter storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1264
Number of pages13
JournalEcology letters
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

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soil enzymes
stoichiometry
enzyme activity
soil organic matter
soil pH
soil
organic matter
soil separates
cellulose 1,4-beta-cellobiosidase
leucyl aminopeptidase
glucosidases
enzyme
ecosystems
monophenol monooxygenase
nutrients
enzymes
hydrolases
nutrient
ecosystem
meta-analysis

Keywords

  • C : N : P ratio
  • Cellobiohydrolase
  • Ecological stoichiometry
  • Leucine aminopeptidase
  • Peroxidase
  • Phenol oxidase
  • Phosphatase
  • Soil enzyme activity
  • Soil organic matter
  • β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase
  • β-1,4-glucosidase

Cite this

Sinsabaugh, R. L., Lauber, C. L., Weintraub, M. N., Ahmed, B., Allison, S. D., Crenshaw, C., ... Zeglin, L. H. (2008). Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. Ecology letters, 11(11), 1252-1264. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2008.01245.x

Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. / Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Lauber, Christian L.; Weintraub, Michael N.; Ahmed, Bony; Allison, Steven D.; Crenshaw, Chelsea; Contosta, Alexandra R.; Cusack, Daniela; Frey, Serita; Gallo, Marcy E.; Gartner, Tracy B.; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Holland, Keri; Keeler, Bonnie L.; Powers, Jennifer S.; Stursova, Martina; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; Waldrop, Mark P.; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Zak, Donald R.; Zeglin, Lydia H.

In: Ecology letters, Vol. 11, No. 11, 01.11.2008, p. 1252-1264.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Sinsabaugh, RL, Lauber, CL, Weintraub, MN, Ahmed, B, Allison, SD, Crenshaw, C, Contosta, AR, Cusack, D, Frey, S, Gallo, ME, Gartner, TB, Hobbie, SE, Holland, K, Keeler, BL, Powers, JS, Stursova, M, Takacs-Vesbach, C, Waldrop, MP, Wallenstein, MD, Zak, DR & Zeglin, LH 2008, 'Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale', Ecology letters, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. 1252-1264. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2008.01245.x
Sinsabaugh RL, Lauber CL, Weintraub MN, Ahmed B, Allison SD, Crenshaw C et al. Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. Ecology letters. 2008 Nov 1;11(11):1252-1264. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2008.01245.x
Sinsabaugh, Robert L. ; Lauber, Christian L. ; Weintraub, Michael N. ; Ahmed, Bony ; Allison, Steven D. ; Crenshaw, Chelsea ; Contosta, Alexandra R. ; Cusack, Daniela ; Frey, Serita ; Gallo, Marcy E. ; Gartner, Tracy B. ; Hobbie, Sarah E. ; Holland, Keri ; Keeler, Bonnie L. ; Powers, Jennifer S. ; Stursova, Martina ; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina ; Waldrop, Mark P. ; Wallenstein, Matthew D. ; Zak, Donald R. ; Zeglin, Lydia H. / Stoichiometry of soil enzyme activity at global scale. In: Ecology letters. 2008 ; Vol. 11, No. 11. pp. 1252-1264.
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AU - Allison, Steven D.

AU - Crenshaw, Chelsea

AU - Contosta, Alexandra R.

AU - Cusack, Daniela

AU - Frey, Serita

AU - Gallo, Marcy E.

AU - Gartner, Tracy B.

AU - Hobbie, Sarah E.

AU - Holland, Keri

AU - Keeler, Bonnie L.

AU - Powers, Jennifer S.

AU - Stursova, Martina

AU - Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina

AU - Waldrop, Mark P.

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AU - Zeglin, Lydia H.

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N2 - Extracellular enzymes are the proximate agents of organic matter decomposition and measures of these activities can be used as indicators of microbial nutrient demand. We conducted a global-scale meta-analysis of the seven-most widely measured soil enzyme activities, using data from 40 ecosystems. The activities of β-1,4-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase and phosphatase g-1 soil increased with organic matter concentration; leucine aminopeptidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase activities showed no relationship. All activities were significantly related to soil pH. Specific activities, i.e. activity g-1 soil organic matter, also varied in relation to soil pH for all enzymes. Relationships with mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP) were generally weak. For hydrolases, ratios of specific C, N and P acquisition activities converged on 1 : 1 : 1 but across ecosystems, the ratio of C : P acquisition was inversely related to MAP and MAT while the ratio of C : N acquisition increased with MAP. Oxidative activities were more variable than hydrolytic activities and increased with soil pH. Our analyses indicate that the enzymatic potential for hydrolyzing the labile components of soil organic matter is tied to substrate availability, soil pH and the stoichiometry of microbial nutrient demand. The enzymatic potential for oxidizing the recalcitrant fractions of soil organic material, which is a proximate control on soil organic matter accumulation, is most strongly related to soil pH. These trends provide insight into the biogeochemical processes that create global patterns in ecological stoichiometry and organic matter storage.

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