Impacts of Phragmites australis Invasion on Soil Enzyme Activities and Microbial Abundance of Tidal Marshes

Sunghyun Kim, Jiyoung Kang, J. Patrick Megonigal, Hojeong Kang, Jooyoung Seo, Weixin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The rapid expansion of Phragmites australis in brackish marshes of the East Coast of the USA has drawn much attention, because it may change vegetation diversity and ecosystem functions. In particular, higher primary production of Phragmites than that of other native species such as Spartina patens and Schoenoplectus americanus has been noted, suggesting possible changes in carbon storage potential in salt marshes. To better understand the long-term effect of the invasion of Phragmites on carbon storage, however, information on decomposition rates of soil organic matter is essential. To address this issue, we compared microbial enzyme activities and microbial functional gene abundances (fungi, laccase, denitrifier, and methanogens) in three depths of soils with three different plants in a brackish marsh in Maryland, USA. Laccase and phenol oxidase activities were measured to assess the decomposition potential of recalcitrant carbon while β-glucosidase activity was determined as proxy for cellulose decomposition rate. Microbial activities near the surface (0–15 cm) were the highest in Spartina-community sites followed by Phragmites- and Schoenoplectus-community sites. A comparison of stable isotopic signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of soils and plant leaves suggests that deep organic carbon in the soils mainly originated from Spartina, and only the surface soils may have been influenced by Phragmites litter. In contrast, fungal, laccase, and denitrifier abundances determined by real-time qPCR exhibited no discernible patterns among the surface soils of the three vegetation types. However, the abundance of methanogens was higher in the deep Phragmites-community soil. Therefore, Phragmites invasion will accelerate CH4 emission by greater CH4 production in deep soils with abundant methanogens, although enzymatic mechanisms revealed the potential for larger C accumulation by Phragmites invasion in salt marshes in the east coast of the USA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-790
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Volume76
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1

Fingerprint

Phragmites
soil enzymes
Phragmites australis
salt marshes
enzyme activity
marsh
methanogens
laccase
decomposition
soil
saltmarsh
carbon sequestration
Spartina
soil surface
marshes
degradation
coast
Spartina patens
ecosystem function
Schoenoplectus

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science

Cite this

Kim, Sunghyun ; Kang, Jiyoung ; Megonigal, J. Patrick ; Kang, Hojeong ; Seo, Jooyoung ; Ding, Weixin. / Impacts of Phragmites australis Invasion on Soil Enzyme Activities and Microbial Abundance of Tidal Marshes. In: Microbial Ecology. 2018 ; Vol. 76, No. 3. pp. 782-790.
@article{69068195c6404d798554af21e01ca27e,
title = "Impacts of Phragmites australis Invasion on Soil Enzyme Activities and Microbial Abundance of Tidal Marshes",
abstract = "The rapid expansion of Phragmites australis in brackish marshes of the East Coast of the USA has drawn much attention, because it may change vegetation diversity and ecosystem functions. In particular, higher primary production of Phragmites than that of other native species such as Spartina patens and Schoenoplectus americanus has been noted, suggesting possible changes in carbon storage potential in salt marshes. To better understand the long-term effect of the invasion of Phragmites on carbon storage, however, information on decomposition rates of soil organic matter is essential. To address this issue, we compared microbial enzyme activities and microbial functional gene abundances (fungi, laccase, denitrifier, and methanogens) in three depths of soils with three different plants in a brackish marsh in Maryland, USA. Laccase and phenol oxidase activities were measured to assess the decomposition potential of recalcitrant carbon while β-glucosidase activity was determined as proxy for cellulose decomposition rate. Microbial activities near the surface (0–15 cm) were the highest in Spartina-community sites followed by Phragmites- and Schoenoplectus-community sites. A comparison of stable isotopic signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of soils and plant leaves suggests that deep organic carbon in the soils mainly originated from Spartina, and only the surface soils may have been influenced by Phragmites litter. In contrast, fungal, laccase, and denitrifier abundances determined by real-time qPCR exhibited no discernible patterns among the surface soils of the three vegetation types. However, the abundance of methanogens was higher in the deep Phragmites-community soil. Therefore, Phragmites invasion will accelerate CH4 emission by greater CH4 production in deep soils with abundant methanogens, although enzymatic mechanisms revealed the potential for larger C accumulation by Phragmites invasion in salt marshes in the east coast of the USA.",
author = "Sunghyun Kim and Jiyoung Kang and Megonigal, {J. Patrick} and Hojeong Kang and Jooyoung Seo and Weixin Ding",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00248-018-1168-2",
language = "English",
volume = "76",
pages = "782--790",
journal = "Microbial Ecology",
issn = "0095-3628",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "3",

}

Impacts of Phragmites australis Invasion on Soil Enzyme Activities and Microbial Abundance of Tidal Marshes. / Kim, Sunghyun; Kang, Jiyoung; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Kang, Hojeong; Seo, Jooyoung; Ding, Weixin.

In: Microbial Ecology, Vol. 76, No. 3, 01.10.2018, p. 782-790.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impacts of Phragmites australis Invasion on Soil Enzyme Activities and Microbial Abundance of Tidal Marshes

AU - Kim, Sunghyun

AU - Kang, Jiyoung

AU - Megonigal, J. Patrick

AU - Kang, Hojeong

AU - Seo, Jooyoung

AU - Ding, Weixin

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - The rapid expansion of Phragmites australis in brackish marshes of the East Coast of the USA has drawn much attention, because it may change vegetation diversity and ecosystem functions. In particular, higher primary production of Phragmites than that of other native species such as Spartina patens and Schoenoplectus americanus has been noted, suggesting possible changes in carbon storage potential in salt marshes. To better understand the long-term effect of the invasion of Phragmites on carbon storage, however, information on decomposition rates of soil organic matter is essential. To address this issue, we compared microbial enzyme activities and microbial functional gene abundances (fungi, laccase, denitrifier, and methanogens) in three depths of soils with three different plants in a brackish marsh in Maryland, USA. Laccase and phenol oxidase activities were measured to assess the decomposition potential of recalcitrant carbon while β-glucosidase activity was determined as proxy for cellulose decomposition rate. Microbial activities near the surface (0–15 cm) were the highest in Spartina-community sites followed by Phragmites- and Schoenoplectus-community sites. A comparison of stable isotopic signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of soils and plant leaves suggests that deep organic carbon in the soils mainly originated from Spartina, and only the surface soils may have been influenced by Phragmites litter. In contrast, fungal, laccase, and denitrifier abundances determined by real-time qPCR exhibited no discernible patterns among the surface soils of the three vegetation types. However, the abundance of methanogens was higher in the deep Phragmites-community soil. Therefore, Phragmites invasion will accelerate CH4 emission by greater CH4 production in deep soils with abundant methanogens, although enzymatic mechanisms revealed the potential for larger C accumulation by Phragmites invasion in salt marshes in the east coast of the USA.

AB - The rapid expansion of Phragmites australis in brackish marshes of the East Coast of the USA has drawn much attention, because it may change vegetation diversity and ecosystem functions. In particular, higher primary production of Phragmites than that of other native species such as Spartina patens and Schoenoplectus americanus has been noted, suggesting possible changes in carbon storage potential in salt marshes. To better understand the long-term effect of the invasion of Phragmites on carbon storage, however, information on decomposition rates of soil organic matter is essential. To address this issue, we compared microbial enzyme activities and microbial functional gene abundances (fungi, laccase, denitrifier, and methanogens) in three depths of soils with three different plants in a brackish marsh in Maryland, USA. Laccase and phenol oxidase activities were measured to assess the decomposition potential of recalcitrant carbon while β-glucosidase activity was determined as proxy for cellulose decomposition rate. Microbial activities near the surface (0–15 cm) were the highest in Spartina-community sites followed by Phragmites- and Schoenoplectus-community sites. A comparison of stable isotopic signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of soils and plant leaves suggests that deep organic carbon in the soils mainly originated from Spartina, and only the surface soils may have been influenced by Phragmites litter. In contrast, fungal, laccase, and denitrifier abundances determined by real-time qPCR exhibited no discernible patterns among the surface soils of the three vegetation types. However, the abundance of methanogens was higher in the deep Phragmites-community soil. Therefore, Phragmites invasion will accelerate CH4 emission by greater CH4 production in deep soils with abundant methanogens, although enzymatic mechanisms revealed the potential for larger C accumulation by Phragmites invasion in salt marshes in the east coast of the USA.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85043696170&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85043696170&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00248-018-1168-2

DO - 10.1007/s00248-018-1168-2

M3 - Article

VL - 76

SP - 782

EP - 790

JO - Microbial Ecology

JF - Microbial Ecology

SN - 0095-3628

IS - 3

ER -