Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1091
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1091
 
20 Dec 2022
20 Dec 2022

Differential Temperature Sensitivity of Intracellular and Extracellular Soil Enzyme Activities

Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi1,2, Laurence Dale1, Liz J. Shaw1, and Tom Sizmur1 Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6DW, UK
  • 2Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, 920001, Minna, Nigeria

Abstract. Predictions concerning the feedback of soil heterotrophic respiration to a warming climate often do not differentiate between the extracellular and intracellular processes involved in soil organic matter decomposition. This study examined the temperature sensitivities of intracellular and extracellular soil enzyme activities and how they are influenced by previous temperatures. We pre-incubated soils at 5 °C, 15 °C or 26 °C to acclimatise the microbial communities to different thermal regimes for 60 days before measuring potential activities of β-glucosidase and chitinase (extracellular enzymes), glucose-induced respiration (intracellular enzymes), and basal respiration at a range of assay temperatures (5 °C, 15 °C, 26 °C, 37 °C, and 45 °C). A higher pre-incubation temperature decreased soil pH and C / N ratio which exerted a strong legacy effect by decreasing β-glucosidase potential activity and respiration, but not chitinase potential activity. It is likely that this legacy effect is an indirect effect of substrate depletion rather than physiological acclimatation or genetic adaptation. There was no overall significant effect of pre-incubation temperature on temperature sensitivity of these enzymes, perhaps because of the short (60 day) duration of the pre-incubation. However, we found that the intracellular and extracellular enzyme activities differ in their temperature sensitivity and this observation differs depending on the range of temperature used for Q10 estimates of temperature sensitivity. Between 5 °C and 15 °C intracellular and extracellular enzyme activities show equal temperature sensitivity, but between 15 °C and 26 °C intracellular enzyme activity was more temperature sensitive than extracellular enzyme activity and between 26 °C and 37 °C extracellular enzyme activity was more temperature sensitive than intracellular enzyme activity. This result implies that depolymerisation of higher molecular weight carbon is more sensitive to temperature changes at higher temperatures (e.g. higher temperatures on extremely warm days) but the respiration of the generated monomers is more sensitive to temperature changes at moderate temperatures (e.g. mean daily maximum soil temperature). Therefore, since climate change predictions currently indicate that there will be a greater frequency and severity of hot summers and heatwaves, it is possible that global warming may reduce the importance of extracellular depolymerisation relative to intracellular catalytic activity as the rate limiting step of soil organic matter mineralization. We conclude that extracellular and intracellular steps are not equally sensitive to changes in soil temperature and that the previous temperature a soil is exposed to may influence the potential activity, but not temperature sensitivity, of extracellular and intracellular enzymes.

Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1091', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jan 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1091', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Jan 2023

Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi et al.

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Differential Temperature Sensitivity of Intracellular and Extracellular Soil Enzyme Activities Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi, Laurence Dale, Liz Shaw, and Tom Sizmur https://doi.org/10.17632/xvr3dzvdcw.1

Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi et al.

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Short summary
The decomposition of soil organic matter and flux of carbon dioxide is expected to increase as temperatures rise. However, soil organic matter decomposition is a two step process whereby large molecules are first broken down outside microbial cells and then respired within microbial cells. We show here that these two steps are not equally sensitive to increases in soil temperature and that global warming may cause a shift in the rate limiting step from outside to inside the microbial cell.