SOILS, SEC 3 • REMEDIATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CONTAMINATED OR DEGRADED LANDS •
Decreased soil substrate availability with incubation time weakens
the response of microbial respiration to high temperature in an alpine
meadow on the Tibetan Plateau
Received: 11 January 2018 /Accepted: 3 April 2018
Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018
Purpose Increased microbial respiration (Rm) usually decreases with warming time in incubation and field manipulative exper-
iments, and substrate depletion and/or microbial thermal acclimation to warming is hypothesized to be responsible for this
decrease. However, few studies have been conducted to determine the mechanism for this decrease, especially in alpine regions.
Materials and methods First, soils taken from an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau were incubated at three different
temperatures (i.e., 5, 15, and 25 °C) with two soil moistures (i.e., 30 and 60% water holding capacity (WHC)) for 58 days, then
another two experiments were conducted with incubation at high-low-high temperature (i.e., 25–15–25 °C) for 2 weeks and
glucose-induced respiration (GIR) for 4 h.
Results and discussion Rm increased with soil temperature increase at 60% WHC, but there were no significant differences
between incubation at 5 and 15 °C with 30% WHC. Higher Rm was found at 60% WHC than at 30% WHC only when incubated
at 15 and 25 °C. Both the high-low-high temperature incubation and GIR experiments indicated that decreased soil substrate
availability weakened the responses of Rm to high temperature at 60% WHC, and there was no microbial thermal acclimation to
temperature over the incubation period. Temperature sensitivity of Rm (Q
) was not affected by soil moisture, high-low-high
temperature incubation, or glucose addition.
Conclusions Our findings suggest that the increase in Rm at higher temperature disappeared over the incubation period, and that
this could be due to depletion of soil substrate availability.
Keywords Alpine meadow
Hanke Liu and Wangwang Lv contributed equally to this work.
Responsible editor: Jianming Xue
* Shiping Wang
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049,
Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of
Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100101, China
CAS Center for Excellence of Tibetan Plateau Earth Science, Chinese
Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota,
Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Xining 810008, China
University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division,
5801 South Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Journal of Soils and Sediments