Responses of soil nitrogen and phosphorus cycling to drying and rewetting cycles: A meta-analysis
- Journal Article
Altered drying-rewetting patterns due to climate change may affect soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The responses of soil N and P cycling to drying and rewetting cycles can vary with drying-rewetting patterns, experimental methods, ecosystems, and soil types, thus making a synthesis of these studies necessary for understanding mechanisms and predicting future responses to climate change. Here, we compiled data of 1882 observations from 79 studies for a meta-analysis of the responses of soil N and P pools and fluxes to drying and rewetting and how these responses are modified by experimental conditions. Results showed that 1) experimental drying increased NH4+, extractable organic nitrogen (EON), and available P in the soil significantly by 22, 27, and 72%, respectively. In contrast, soil NO3−, enzymatic activities, microbial biomass, net nitrification, and N2O emissions significantly decreased by 37, 13–21, 21–28, 39, and 93%, respectively. 2) Upon rewetting of dried soil, soil EON, extractable organic phosphorus (EOP), net N mineralization, nitrification, phosphatase activity, dissolved organic N leaching, dissolved inorganic P leaching, and N2O emissions significantly increased by 59, 27, 19, 15, 12, 60, 116, and 218%, respectively, while soil NO3− and NO3− leaching significantly decreased by 9 and 74%, respectively. Soil microbial N and P as well as enzymatic activities recovered from drought during the rewetting phase. The mean effect sizes of drying and rewetting generally increased with drying intensity, which was probably also the main reason for greater effect sizes observed in laboratory than in field experiments. Our meta-analysis showed stronger positive responses of available P to drying and rewetting than mineral N, which agreed with greater effect sizes on P than on N leaching. This suggests that drying and rewetting induce an imbalance between N and P, which was more pronounced in soils from forests than from agricultural systems. Overall, these results imply that the expected increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts potentially decouples the cycling of P and N, with consequences for nutrient leaching and the supply of plants and microorganisms with these nutrients.(© 2020 Elsevier Ltd) Show more
Journal / seriesSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Pages / Article No.
SubjectDrying-rewetting cycle; Drought duration; Drought stress; N and P cycling; Microbial biomass; N2O
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