Earth Star Fungus in Oak Openings Sand Barren

Microbial Control of Litter Decay

The goals of the empirical work on this project were to simultaneously track changes in litter mass loss and chemistry; and microbial community composition, respiration, and enzyme activity during decomposition. This project also examined how the relationships among these variables are affected by elevated N availability.

Additionally, the outreach activities from this project included developing the online Interactive Model Of Leaf Decomposition (IMOLD; http://imold.utoledo.edu). Targeting grades 9-12, IMOLD starts with professionally animated lessons on the C cycle, litter decomposition, and microbes. Users are then directed to an interactive decomposition model allowing them to decompose different litters in the same environment, or the same litter in different environments. Lastly, IMOLD includes lab and classroom lesson plans developed by teachers. This educational resource is already being used in high school classrooms throughout the US.

The following experiments provide data on soil and leaf litter enzyme activities, extractable nitrogen and phosphate, microbial biomass, soil respiration, microbial community composition, soil carbon to nitrogen ratios, relative assimilation of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous, leaf litter mass loss, litter phenolic chemistry, and model diagrams and code.

Experiment

Data Set Overview

Files

Data from: Microbial substrate preference and community dynamics during the decomposition of Acer saccharum
This data set contributes information on soil enzyme activities; extractable nitrogen and phosphate; microbial biomass; soil respiration; and microbial community composition through phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFA). Data were collected from a 500 day incubation experiment including two treatments: litter addition and no-litter. Six replicates of twenty litter addition groups and six no-litter groups were incubated and harvested at different times during the course of the experiment.
Dataset

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Data from: Interactions between leaf litter quality, particle size, and microbial community during the earliest stage of decay
This data set contributes information on soil enzyme activities; extractable nitrogen and phosphate; microbial biomass; soil carbon to nitrogen ratios; soil respiration; and relative assimilation of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous. Data was collected from a 2-week incubation experiment that included two leaf litter types: sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and white oak (Quercus alba) and two soils: 0.4% C sandy soil and 4.1% C loam soil. Litter was cut into the following sizes: (1) Ground litter (20 mesh), (2) Litter cut into 0.25 cm2 pieces, and (3) Litter cut into 1 cm2. Four replicates of twelve litter treatment groups (2 litter types × 3 litter particle sizes × 2 soil types) and two soil-only control groups were harvested for analysis at the end of the 2-week incubation.
Dataset

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Data from: Field and lab conditions alter microbial enzyme and biomass dynamics driving decomposition of the same leaf litter
This dataset includes information on leaf litter enzyme activities; extractable nitrogen and phosphate; microbial biomass; respiration; leaf litter mass loss; and field temperature and moisture conditions. Measurements are from parallel field and laboratory incubations. Both studies were conducted using four leaf litter types: flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), white oak (Quercus alba), and a 50/50 combination of sugar maple and white oak litter (i.e., mixed litter). Leaf litter was placed in 1 mm˛ mesh-size litterbags - either 15 cm x 15 cm for the field study or 6 cm x 6 cm for the lab study. The field study litterbags were replicated eight times for sugar maple, white oak, and mixed litter and six times for dogwood litter in each of eight plots. The lab study litterbags were placed in microcosms with soil and replicated four times for each litter type; each set of 4 was then replicated eight times. Sugar maple, white oak, and mixed litterbags were harvested eight times during the field and the lab study. Dogwood litterbags were harvested six times during the field study and eight times during the lab study.
Field Dataset

Lab Dataset

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BrdU Incorporation Study








This data set contributes information on soil enzyme activities; extractable nitrogen and phosphate; and microbial biomass. Data were collected from a 416 day incubation experiment including two treatments (sugar maple + sandy soil and white oak + sandy soil) and a no-litter control. These data are part of a BrdU incorporation study aimed at characterizing the active decomposer community at different stages of decay. Nucleotide analog labeling, such as BrdU incorporation, allows DNA to be isolated from active members of a microbial community through incorporation of a thymidine analog into newly synthesized DNA.
Dataset

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Maize Internode N addition study - in collaboration w/ INRA
This data set contributes information on litter enzyme activities; extractable nitrogen and phosphate; microbial biomass; soil respiration; and litter phenolic chemistry. Data was collected from a 478-day incubation experiment that included three maize genotypes, two different pH soils: 4.9 and 6.7, and two nitrogen addition levels (addition or no-addition). Four replicates of one hundred-twenty litter and soil treatment groups (3 litter types x 2 soils x 2 nitrogen addition levels x 10 harvests) and forty soil-only control groups (2 soils x 2 nitrogen additions x 10 harvests) were harvested for analysis 0, 27, 58, 84, 120, 172, 238, 316, 390, 478 days after incubation start.
Dataset

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Data from: Optimization of hydrolytic and oxidative enzyme methods for ecosystem studies
This data set contributes information on soil enzyme activities measured under a variety of conditions (i.e. pH changes, different buffers, NaOH addition, etc.)
Dataset

README
Calculating co-metabolic costs of lignin decay and their impacts on carbon use efficiency
Model diagrams and code for calculating co-metabolic costs of lignin decay and their impacts on carbon use efficiency.
README
A theoretical model of C- and N-acquiring exoenzyme activities, which balances microbial demands during decomposition
Model diagrams and code for a theoretical model of carbon and nitrogen acquiring exoenzyme activities.
README




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