Global patterns and drivers of soil microbial biomass C, N, and P in terrestrial ecosystems
Wang, Zhiqiang (2022), Global patterns and drivers of soil microbial biomass C, N, and P in terrestrial ecosystems, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xd2547dhk
Soil microbes play key roles in driving and regulating nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, a lack of global-scale information regarding the distribution of soil microbial biomass C (SMB C), N (SMB N), and P (SMB P) in terrestrial ecosystems has limited our ability to incorporate the broad-scale soil microbial nutritional properties and the associated processes into biogeochemical models. Here, we synthesized a global dataset including 3,801 observations for SMB C, 3,154 observations of SMB N, and 2,429 observations of SMB P in the top 0–30 cm soil depth. Based on this comprehensive global dataset, we generated quantitative and spatially explicit maps of SMB C, N, and P across terrestrial ecosystems using a random forest approach. In general, the global mean values of SMB C, N, and P concentrations were 693.0 mg kg-1, 89.5 mg kg-1, and 35.5 mg kg-1, respectively. These mean values belie a significantly spatial heterogeneity of these concentrations across biomes and a clear latitudinal trend (wherein SMB C, N, and P increase in cold and high latitude environments along with the large soil organic carbon, SOC). SOC was the most important factor regulating SMB C, N, and P at a global scale. At the global scale, the storage of SMB C, N, and P was estimated to be 23.13 Pg C, 3.93 Pg N, and 2.16 Pg P in the top 0–30 cm soil surface, respectively. Our global maps of SMB C, N, and P presented here can be used to constraint Earth system models, and provide the first step forward to predict the roles of soil microbial nutrients in terrestrial nutrient cycling.