What is it about?

We asked the question if temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition is more influenced by C quality or nutrient availability for subtropical peat. Although, thermo-labile carbon increased as a function of temperature in all soils, we observed a disproportionate increase in the production of gaseous forms (CO2 and CH4) vs DOC as well as CH4 vs CO2 with warming. Pattern of temperature sensitivity (Q10) values followed the pattern of CH4 ≫ CO2 > DOC and Q10 was more related to substrate carbon quality than nutrient availability. Spectral analysis further indicated more labile dissolved organic carbon production with increasing temperature. Finally, step-wise multiple regression analysis also indicated that substrate carbon quality primarily influenced peat decomposition at lower temperature, however, nutrient limitation dominantly controlled peat decomposition at higher temperature.

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Why is it important?

We confirmed the role of substrate C quality in temperature sensitivity of tropical and subtropical peat, but also demonstrated an increased importance of nutrient limitation with increasing temperature.

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This page is a summary of: Carbon quality and nutrient status drive the temperature sensitivity of organic matter decomposition in subtropical peat soils, Biodegradation, October 2016, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s10533-016-0267-8.
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