Nutrients addition regulates temperature sensitivity of maize straw mineralization

Muhammad Auwal, Bhupinder Pal Singh, Zhiyi Chen, Amit Kumar, Shaotong Pan, Yu Luo, Jianming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The study aimed to determine the interactive effect of temperature with nutrients on maize residues decomposition in soil. Materials and methods: We conducted an incubation of 87 days by applying maize straw (δ13C value of −11.2‰) to soil (δ13C value of −26.3‰) with low (N0), medium (NM), and high (NH) level of nutrients addition, at two temperature levels of 5 °C (T-L) and 25 °C (T-H). We measured the cumulative CO2-C efflux, residues decomposition, temperature sensitivity (Q10), and extracellular enzyme activities. Results and discussion: Increased temperature significantly increased cumulative CO2 efflux and straw decomposition, with an enhanced rate of active (Ka) and slow (Ks) pools of soil and residues C. The mean values of Q10 ranged from 1.4 to 1.6 for the total CO2 efflux and 1.4 to 1.7 for maize straw decomposition. The outcome might be due to temperature-dependent microbial activation at 25 °C. The activities of β-glucosidase, α-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, and β-xylosidase enzymes were positively correlated with cumulative CO2 emissions at 25 °C suggesting microbial regulation on SOM decomposition. We found a U-shaped pattern of nutrients regulation on the temperature sensitivity of maize straw decomposition, with the lowest Q10 under NM. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that nutrients regulated the temperature effects on residue C decomposition by adjusting microbial activity (extracellular enzyme activities). Consequently, it may lead to soil C sequestration under the current climate change scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2778-2790
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracellular enzyme activity
  • Nutrient availability
  • Q
  • Soil CO efflux
  • SOM decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Stratigraphy


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