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Dryad

Species of fast bulk-soil nutrient cycling have lower rhizosphere effects: A nutrient spectrum of rhizosphere effects

Cite this dataset

Zhu, Biao et al. (2022). Species of fast bulk-soil nutrient cycling have lower rhizosphere effects: A nutrient spectrum of rhizosphere effects [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9kd51c5n4

Abstract

Tree roots not only acquire readily-usable soil nutrients but also affect microbial decomposition and manipulate nutrient availability in their surrounding soils, i.e., rhizosphere effects (REs). Thus, REs challenge the basic understanding how plants adapt to environment and co-exist with other species. Yet, how REs vary among species in response to species-specific bulk soil nutrient cycling is not well-known. Here we studied how plant-controlled microbial decomposition activities in rhizosphere soils respond to those in their corresponding bulk soils and whether these relations depend on species-specific nutrient cycling in the bulk soils. We targeted 55 woody species of different clades and mycorrhizal types in three contrasting biomes, namely a temperate forest, a subtropical forest and a tropical forest. We found that microbial decomposition activities in rhizosphere soils responded linearly to those in their corresponding bulk soils at the species level. Thereafter, we found that REs (parameters in rhizosphere soils minus those in corresponding bulk soils) of microbial decomposition activities had negative linear correlations with microbial decomposition activities in corresponding bulk soils. A multiple factor analysis revealed that soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and soil water content favored bulk soil decomposition activities in all three biomes, showing that the magnitude of REs varied along a fast-slow nutrient cycling spectrum in bulk soils. The species of fast nutrient cycling in their bulk soils tended to have smaller or even negative REs. Therefore, woody plants commonly utilize both positive and negative REs as a nutrient-acquisition strategy. Based on the trade-offs between REs and other nutrient-acquisition strategies, we proposed a push and pull conceptual model which can bring plant nutrient-acquisition cost and plant carbon economics spectrum together in the future. This model will facilitate not only the carbon and nutrient cycling but also the mechanisms of species co-existence in forest ecosystems.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 32001218

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31988102