Microbial nitrogen and phosphorus co-limitation across permafrost region

作  者:Zhang DY, Wang L, Qin SQ, Kou D, Wang SY, Zheng ZH, Penuelas J, Yang YH*
刊物名称:Global Change Biology
卷:  期:  页码:DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16743


The status of plant and microbial nutrient limitation have profound impacts on ecosystem carbon cycle in permafrost areas, which store large amounts of carbon and experience pronounced climatic warming. Despite the long-term standing paradigm assumes that cold ecosystems primarily have nitrogen deficiency, large-scale empirical tests of microbial nutrient limitation are lacking. Here we assessed the potential microbial nutrient limitation across the Tibetan alpine permafrost region, using the combination of enzymatic and elemental stoichiometry, genes abundance and fertilization method. In contrast with the traditional view, the four independent approaches congruently detected widespread microbial nitrogen and phosphorus co-limitation in both the surface soil and deep permafrost deposits, with stronger limitation in the topsoil. Further analysis revealed that soil resources stoichiometry and microbial community composition were the two best predictors of the magnitude of microbial nutrient limitation. High ratio of available soil carbon to nutrient and low fungal/bacterial ratio corresponded to strong microbial nutrient limitation. These findings suggest that warming-induced enhancement in soil nutrient availability could stimulate microbial activity, and probably amplify soil carbon losses from permafrost areas.