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Data from: UV radiation doubles microbial degradation of standing litter in a subtropical forest

Citation

Jiang, Han et al. (2022), Data from: UV radiation doubles microbial degradation of standing litter in a subtropical forest, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q2bvq83n7

Abstract

UV radiation has been recognized as a direct driver of litter decomposition by photodegrading organic matter in dryland ecosystems. However, the importance and mechanism of UV radiation on litter decomposition, especially on standing litter, in humid forest ecosystems remain unclear.

We conducted a factorial experiment in a humid subtropical forest gap, manipulating the effects of UV radiation on the decomposition of standing litter under different microbial conditions.

After 366 days of standing incubation, under normal conditions (UV pass with microorganisms), up to 40.63% of the litter mass was lost. However, under a UV pass without microorganisms, litter mass loss was only 16.30%. Under a UV block, the mass loss of litter with microorganisms was 27.68% and that of litter without microorganisms was 15.54%. Without microorganisms, UV radiation had no significant effect on the mass loss of litter carbon. However, UV radiation increased the DOC concentration of litter. And in the presence of microorganisms, UV radiation contributed to an increased mass loss of lignin by 16.72% and of cellulose by 14.75%. No negative effects of UV radiation on microorganisms were observed. These results suggest that UV radiation increased the net mass loss of litter by 106.67%, and this doubling promotion was achieved through microbial degradation.

Synthesis. The increase in microbial degradation under UV radiation may be linked to the increased degradability of lignin and cellulose caused by photodegradation. Our study indicates that direct photodegradation by UV radiation could be weak in subtropical forests, but UV photofacilitation generates rapid turnover of carbon in this system.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31870598

Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (A), Award: XDA19050400

Jiangsu Forestry Science and Technology Innovation and Promotion Project, Award: LYKJ [2021]16

National Key Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Award: 2016YFD0600402

State Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31530007