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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wood Science and Technology


A strategic selection of tree species will shift the type and quality of litter input, and subsequently magnitude and composition of the soil organic carbon (SOC) through soil microbial community. We conducted a manipulative experiment in randomized block design with leaf litter inputs of four native subtropical tree species in a Pinus massoniana plantation in southern China and found that the chemical composition of SOC did not differ significantly among treatments until after 28 months of the experiment. Contrasting leaf litter inputs had significant impacts on the amounts of total microbial, Gram-positive bacterial, and actinomycic PLFAs, but not on the amounts of total bacterial, Gramnegative bacterial, and fungal PLFAs. There were significant differences in alkyl/O-alkyl C in soils among the leaf litter input treatments, but no apparent differences in the proportions of chemical compositions (alkyl, O-alkyl, aromatic, and carbonyl C) in SOC. Soil alkyl/O-alkyl C was significantly related to the amounts of total microbial, and Gram-positive bacterial PLFAs, but not to the chemical compositions of leaf litter. Our findings suggest that changes in forest leaf litter inputs could result in changes in chemical stability of SOC through the altered microbial community composition.

Source Citation

Wang, H., Liu, S.-R., Wang, J.-X., Shi, Z.-M., Xu, J., Hong, P.-Z., Ming, A.-G., Yu, H.-L., Chen, L., Lu, L.-H., & Cai, D.-X. (2016). Differential effects of conifer and broadleaf litter inputs on soil organic carbon chemical composition through altered soil microbial community composition. Scientific Reports, 6(1).


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