Input of easily available organic C and N stimulates microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in arctic permafrost soil

Download statistics - Document (COUNTER):

Wild, B.; Schnecker, J.; Alves, R.J.E.; Barsukov, P.; Bárta, Jiri et al.: Input of easily available organic C and N stimulates microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in arctic permafrost soil. In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry 75 (2014), S. 143-151. DOI:

Repository version

To cite the version in the repository, please use this identifier:

Selected time period:


Sum total of downloads: 143

Rising temperatures in the Arctic can affect soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition directly and indirectly, by increasing plant primary production and thus the allocation of plant-derived organic compounds into the soil. Such compounds, for example root exudates or decaying fine roots, are easily available for microorganisms, and can alter the decomposition of older SOM ("priming effect"). We here report on a SOM priming experiment in the active layer of a permafrost soil from the central Siberian Arctic, comparing responses of organic topsoil, mineral subsoil, and cryoturbated subsoil material (i.e., poorly decomposed topsoil material subducted into the subsoil by freeze-thaw processes) to additions of 13C-labeled glucose, cellulose, a mixture of amino acids, and protein (added at levels corresponding to approximately 1% of soil organic carbon). SOM decomposition in the topsoil was barely affected by higher availability of organic compounds, whereas SOM decomposition in both subsoil horizons responded strongly. In the mineral subsoil, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two to three after any substrate addition (glucose, cellulose, amino acids, protein), suggesting that the microbial decomposer community was limited in energy to break down more complex components of SOM. In the cryoturbated horizon, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two after addition of amino acids or protein, but was not significantly affected by glucose or cellulose, indicating nitrogen rather than energy limitation. Since the stimulation of SOM decomposition in cryoturbated material was not connected to microbial growth or to a change in microbial community composition, the additional nitrogen was likely invested in the production of extracellular enzymes required for SOM decomposition. Our findings provide a first mechanistic understanding of priming in permafrost soils and suggest that an increase in the availability of organic carbon or nitrogen, e.g., by increased plant productivity, can change the decomposition of SOM stored in deeper layers of permafrost soils, with possible repercussions on the global climate.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2014
Appears in Collections:Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

distribution of downloads over the selected time period:

downloads by country:

pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 123 86.01%
2 image of flag of China China 6 4.20%
3 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 5 3.50%
4 image of flag of Pakistan Pakistan 2 1.40%
5 image of flag of Kenya Kenya 2 1.40%
6 image of flag of United States United States 1 0.70%
7 image of flag of Paraguay Paraguay 1 0.70%
8 image of flag of Mexico Mexico 1 0.70%
9 image of flag of Japan Japan 1 0.70%
10 image of flag of Austria Austria 1 0.70%

Further download figures and rankings:


Zur Erhebung der Downloadstatistiken kommen entsprechend dem „COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources“ international anerkannte Regeln und Normen zur Anwendung. COUNTER ist eine internationale Non-Profit-Organisation, in der Bibliotheksverbände, Datenbankanbieter und Verlage gemeinsam an Standards zur Erhebung, Speicherung und Verarbeitung von Nutzungsdaten elektronischer Ressourcen arbeiten, welche so Objektivität und Vergleichbarkeit gewährleisten sollen. Es werden hierbei ausschließlich Zugriffe auf die entsprechenden Volltexte ausgewertet, keine Aufrufe der Website an sich.

Search the repository