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    Rights statement: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10533-022-00932-w

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Impacts of nutrient addition on soil carbon and nitrogen stoichiometry and stability in globally-distributed grasslands

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • K.S. Rocci
  • Kaydee S. Barker
  • Eric W. Seabloom
  • E.T. Borer
  • Sarah Hobbie
  • Jonathan D. Bakker
  • A.S. MacDougall
  • Rebecca Mcculley
  • J.L. Moore
  • X. Raynaud
  • Carly Stevens
  • Francesca Cotrufo
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2022
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)353-370
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/05/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Global changes will modify future nutrient availability with implications for grassland biogeochemistry. Soil organic matter (SOM) is central to grasslands for both provision of nutrients and climate mitigation through carbon (C) storage. While we know that C and nitrogen (N) in SOM can be influenced by greater nutrient availability, we lack understanding of nutrient effects on C and N coupling and stability in soil. Different SOM fractions have different functional relevance and mean residence times, i.e., mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM) has a higher mean residence time than particulate organic matter (POM). By separating effects of nutrient supply on the different SOM fractions, we can better evaluate changes in soil C and N coupling and stability and associated mechanisms. To this end, we studied responses of C and N ratios and distributions across POM and MAOM to 6–10 years of N, phosphorus (P), potassium and micronutrients (K+µ), and combined NPK+µ additions at 11 grassland sites spanning 3 continents and globally relevant environmental gradients in climate, plant growth, soil texture, and nutrient availability. We found addition of N and NPK+µ generally reduced C:N in MAOM and POM. However, at low fertility and at warm, sandy sites, nutrient addition promoted higher MAOM and POM C:N, respectively. Addition of NPK+µ also promoted C storage in POM relative to MAOM, and this was consistent across sites. Our results suggest that addition of macro- and micronutrients consistently decrease SOM stabilization, whereas responses of soil C:N stoichiometry were contingent on SOM fraction and environmental conditions.

Bibliographic note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10533-022-00932-w