EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Linking temperature sensitivities of soil enzymes to temperature responses of different organic matter pools in the DAISY model

Moritz Laub1, Rana Shahbaz Ali2, Michael Scott Demyan3, Yvonne Funkuin Nkwain1, Christian Poll2, Petra Högy4, Arne Poyda5, Joachim Ingwersen6, Sergey Blagodatsky1, Ellen Kandeler2, and Georg Cadisch1
Moritz Laub et al.
  • 1Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute) , Agronomy in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany (
  • 2Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation-Soil Biology Section, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
  • 3School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, 43210
  • 4Institute of Plant Ecology and Ecotoxicology, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
  • 5Department of Grass and Forage Science/ Organic Agriculture, Kiel University, 24118 Kiel, Germany
  • 6Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation-Biogeophysics Section University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany

Soil organic carbon (SOC) losses under a changing climate are driven by the temperature sensitivity of SOC mineralization (usually expressed as Q10, the multiplier of activity with 10 °C temperature increase). The activation energy theory (AET) suggests that, due to higher activation energies, the more complex the carbon, the higher is mineralization Q10. However, studies on Q10 have been inconsistent with regard to AET. Measurements of potential soil enzymes activity Q10 even contradicted AET: Phenoloxidase (representing complex carbon) had consistently lower Q10 than the more labile xylanase and glucosidase. This study used two approaches of examining Q10 in SOC modeling: 1) Bayesian calibration (BC) and 2) using different measured enzyme Q10 as proxies for mineralization Q10 of different SOC pools. The SOC model was DAISY (S. Hansen et al., 2012). BC informed Q10 by field measured data, while the second approach tested if directly using enzyme Q10 (of phenoloxidase, glucosidase and xylanase) for DAISY pools improved simulation results. Both approaches used the temperature sensitive measurements of CO2 evolution and soil microbial biomass. The measured enzyme Q10 were from field manipulation experiments with bare fallow and vegetated plots in the two regions of Kraichgau and Swabian Jura in Southwest Germany. The enzyme-derived Q10 were used for modelling those fields and furthermore for in‑situ litterbag decomposition experiments at 20 sites in the same region. Two further laboratory experiments with temperature manipulation were included: an incubation of the field residues into soil and an incubation of bare soil from the start and year 50 of a long duration bare fallow (from Ultuna). The BC made use of CO2 and microbial data to inform about the range of Q10 of different carbon pools for the individual experiments and combined data.

The BC of the residue incubation experiment constrained Q10 for metabolic (~3) and structural litter (~2). Estimated 95% credibility intervals did not overlap. The BC for Ultuna could constrain the slow and fast SOC pool with Q10 ~2.8 and ~3, respectively, but credibility intervals of both pools overlapped. The Q10 of field experiments, which had most abundant data, could not be constrained by BC, probably because their annual temparature variability was too low. However, the model errors of the field experiment could be reduced by the second approach, when the Q10 of phenoloxidase was used for to the structural litter pool as well as for the fast and slow SOC pools. Thus regional enzyme Q10 improved the model fit but only for regional simulations. Therefore, they could be useful proxies when natural temperature range is too small to inform temperature sensitivity by BC. Any trends found in this study contradicted AET, both from measured enzymes and BC of the incubation experiments. This calls for alternative Q10 hypotheses and the need for individual Q10 values for different SOC pool rather than a general one. BC approaches would benefit from a wider temperature range of field experiments and understanding what causes variable enzyme Q10 could help to improve future SOC models.

How to cite: Laub, M., Ali, R. S., Demyan, M. S., Nkwain, Y. F., Poll, C., Högy, P., Poyda, A., Ingwersen, J., Blagodatsky, S., Kandeler, E., and Cadisch, G.: Linking temperature sensitivities of soil enzymes to temperature responses of different organic matter pools in the DAISY model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9716,, 2020

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