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Soil microbial communities with greater investment in resource acquisition have lower growth yield
- Malik, Ashish A., Puissant, Jeremy, Goodall, Tim, Allison, Steven D., Griffiths, Robert I.
- Soil biology & biochemistry 2019 v.132 pp. 36-39
- biogeochemistry, carbon, enzyme activity, extracellular enzymes, isotope labeling, metabolism, nitrogen, pH, soil, soil microorganisms, stable isotopes, surveys
- Resource acquisition and growth yield are fundamental microbial traits that affect biogeochemical processes and have consequences for ecosystem functioning. However, there is a lack of empirical observations linking these traits. Using a landscape-scale survey of temperate near-neutral pH soils, we show tradeoffs in key community-level parameters linked to these traits. Increased investment into extracellular enzymes estimated using specific potential enzyme activity was associated with reduced growth yield obtained using carbon use efficiency measures from stable isotope tracing. Reduction in growth yield was linked more to carbon than nitrogen acquisition highlighting smaller stoichiometric than energetic constraints on community metabolism in examined soils.