Michel, K; Matzner, E: Response of enzyme activities to nitrogen addition in forest floors of different C-to-N ratios, Biology and Fertility of Soils, 38, 102-109 (2003)
Key words: enzymes,forest floor,Oa mterial,nitrogen addition
The effect of different inputs of mineral N on several enzyme activities involved in the C and N cycles was investigated using Oa material of forest floors from four Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] sites with different C-to-N ratios. The samples from each site were treated with five different concentrations of mineral N (as liquid NH4NO3). All samples were incubated aerobically for 15–20 weeks at 15°C and at field capacity. Respiration was measured weekly. At the end of the incubation period, four enzyme activities (endoglucanase, -glucosidase, polyphenol oxidase and -glucosaminidase) and microbial biomass were determined. Endoglucanase activity was increased and -glucosidase activity was decreased by N additions only in Oa material having a wide C-to-N ratio. In N-supplemented samples of low C-to-N ratio, increased polyphenol oxidase activities were often detected as a consequence of N addition. -Glucosaminidase activity responded positively to mineral N additions, particularly in Oa samples with low internal N concentration. The results of the present study indicate that the effects of N additions on enzymatic activities of organic matter in late stages of decomposition are related to the C-to-N ratio. Increasing inputs of mineral N to spruce ecosystems may especially affect C-hydrolyzing enzyme activities in soils with wide C-to-N ratio leading to an incomplete degradation of cellulose and thus reduced C availability to micro-organisms. Keywords Enzymes - Forest floor - Oa material - Nitrogen addition
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