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Strecker, Tanja; Gonzalez, Odette; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico (2015): Spatial and temporal stability of soil microbial properties in the Jena Experiment (Germany) from 2003-2014. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Strecker, T et al. (2016): Functional composition of plant communities determines the spatial and temporal stability of soil microbial properties in a long-term plant diversity experiment. Oikos, (accepted),

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The study was carried out on the main plots of a large grassland biodiversity experiment (the Jena Experiment). In the main experiment, 82 grassland plots of 20 x 20 m were established from a pool of 60 species belonging to four functional groups (grasses, legumes, tall and small herbs). In May 2002, varying numbers of plant species from this species pool were sown into the plots to create a gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 species) and functional richness (1, 2, 3, 4 functional groups). Plots were maintained by bi-annual weeding and mowing. We tracked soil microbial basal respiration (BR; µlO2/g dry soil/h) and biomass carbon (Cmic; µgC/g dry soil) over a time period of 12 years (2003-2014) and examined the role of plant diversity and plant functional group composition for the spatial and temporal stability (calculated as mean/SD) of soil microbial properties (basal respiration and biomass) in bulk-soil. Our results highlight the importance of plant functional group composition for the spatial and temporal stability of soil microbial properties, and hence for microbially-driven ecosystem processes, such as decomposition and element cycling, in temperate semi-natural grassland.
Further details:
Anderson, J P E; Domsch, K H (1978): A physiological method for the quantitative measurement of microbial biomass in soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 10(3), 215-221,
Beck, T; Joergensen, R G; Kandeler, E; Makeschin, F; Nuss, E; Oberholzer, H R; Scheu, Stefan (1997): An inter-laboratory comparison of ten different ways of measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 29(7), 1023-1032,
Scheu, Stefan (1992): Automated measurement of the respiratory response of soil microcompartments: Active microbial biomass in earthworm faeces. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 24(11), 1113-1118,
Latitude: 50.946100 * Longitude: 11.611300
In the data file you find data on the standard deviation (SD), mean and stability (stab) of soil microbial basal respiration [µLO2/ h/g dry soil] and microbial biomass carbon [µgC/g dry soil]. Data were derived by taking soil samples and measuring basal and substrate-induced microbial respiration with an oxygen consumption apparatus. Oxygen consumption of soil microorganisms in fresh soil equivalent to 3.5 g dry weight was measured at 22°C over a period of 24 h. Microbial basal respiration [BR; µlO2/g dry soil/h] was calculated as mean of the oxygen consumption rates of hours 14 to 24 after the start of measurements. Substrate- induced respiration was determined by adding D-glucose to saturate catabolic enzymes of microorganisms according to preliminary studies (4 mg g dry soil solved in 400 µL deionized water). Maximum initial respiratory response (MIRR; [µlO2/g dry soil/h]) was calculated as mean of the lowest three oxygen consumption values within the first 10 h after glucose addition. Microbial biomass carbon [Cmic; µgC/g dry soil] was calculated as 38 × MIRR according to prelimiray studies, see further details. Samples for calculating the spatial stability of soil microbial properties were taken in 2010. Samples for calculating the temporal stability were taken from 2003 to 2014.
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