Tradeoffs in microbial carbon allocation may mediate soil carbon storage in future climates.
Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology
Climate-induced changes in soil microbial physiology impact ecosystem carbon (C) storage and alter the rate of CO2 flux from soils to the atmosphere (Allison et al., 2010). The direction and magnitude of these microbial feedbacks depend on changes in saprotrophic bacterial and fungal C allocation in response to altered temperature, precipitation, and nutrient availability. Soil microbes may differentially allocate C in changing environments by altering processes such as enzyme production, C use efficiency (CUE), or biomass stoichiometry (Figure (Figure1).1). However, because these mechanisms may operate simultaneously and interact, microbial physiological feedbacks on soil C storage are difficult to predict. For example, initial increases in microbial CUE or biomass C:N may be counteracted by increases in enzyme production to acquire limiting organic nutrients.
Kivlin SN, Waring BG, Averill C, and Hawkes CV. 2013. Tradeoffs in microbial carbon allocation may mediate soil carbon storage in future climates. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology 4 Article 261