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Local temperature increases reduce soil microbial residues and carbon stocks

Cite this dataset

Zeng, Xiao-Min et al. (2022). Local temperature increases reduce soil microbial residues and carbon stocks [Dataset]. Dryad.


Warming is known to reduce soil carbon (C) stocks by promoting microbial respiration, which is associated with the decomposition of microbial residue C (MRC). However, the relative contribution of MRC to soil organic C (SOC) across temperature gradients is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the contribution of MRC to SOC along two independent elevation gradients of our model system (i.e., the Tibetan Plateau and Shennongjia Mountain in China). Our results showed that local temperature increases were negatively correlated with MRC and SOC. Further analyses revealed that rising temperature reduced SOC via decreasing MRC, which helps to explain future reductions in SOC under climate warming. Our findings demonstrate that climate warming has the potential to reduce C sequestration by increasing the decomposition of MRC, exacerbating the positive feedback between rising temperature and CO2 efflux. Our study also considered the influence of multiple environmental factors such as soil pH and moisture, which were more important in controlling SOC than microbial traits such as microbial life-style strategies and metabolic efficiency. Together, our work suggests an important mechanism underlying long-term soil C sequestration, which has important implications for the microbial-mediated C process in the face of global climate change.


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41830756

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 32071595

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Award: 2662019QD055

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Award: PID2020-115813RA-I00

the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) and the Consejería de Transformación Económica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades of the Junta de Andalucía (FEDER Andalucía 2014-2020 Objetivo temático “01 - Refuerzo de la investigación, el desarrollo tecnológico y la innovación”), Award: P20_00879 (ANDABIOMA)