Artificial Warming and Rain Addition Increase Phenol Oxidase Activity in Arctic Soils

Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Hojeong Kang1, Juyoung Seo1, Inyoung Jang2 and Yoo Kyung Lee3, (1)Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, (2)National Institute for Ecology, Korea, Seochon, South Korea, (3)Korea Polar Research Insitute, Incheon, South Korea
Artic tundra is one of the largest carbon stocks, of which amount is estimated up to 1,600 Pg. Global climate change models predict surface temperature rise and higher precipitation during summer in Arctic regions, raising concerns about faster decomposition of organic carbon and consequent releases of CO2, CH4 and DOC. Microorganisms are directly involved in decomposition process by releasing various extracellular enzymes. In particular, phenol oxidase was noted to play a key role because it is related to dynamics of highly recalcitrant carbon, which often represents a rate-limiting step of overall decomposition. In this study, we monitored phenol oxidase activity, hydrolases (β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, N-acetylglucosaminidase and aminopeptidase), microbial abundance (qPCR) and chemical properties (δ13C and δ15N signatures) of tundra soils exposed to artificial warming and rain addition, by employing a passive chamber method in Cambridge Bay, Canada. Warming and rain addition combinedly increased phenol oxidase activity while no such changes were discernible for other hydrolases. Stable isotope signature indicates that warming induced water stress to the ecosystem and that nitrogen availability may be enhanced, which is partially responsible for the changes in enzyme activities. A short-term warming (2 years) may not accelerate mineralization of easily decomposable carbon, but may affect phenol oxidase which has the longer-term influence on recalcitrant carbon.