Genotype and slope position control on the availability of soil soluble organic nitrogen in tea plantations
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Soluble organic nitrogen (SON) plays a vital role in ecosystem N cycling processes and is controlled by a number of biotic and abiotic factors. We compared soil SON availability, microbial biomass, protease and asparaginase activities and phospholipids fatty acid (PLFA) profiles at the 0-15 and 15-30 cm layers in 10 year old tea plantations of two genotypes-Oolong tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze cv. Huangjingui) (designated as 'OT') and Green tea (C. sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze cv. Fuyun 6) (designated as 'GT')-established at different slope positions. Concentrations of soil SON measured by the 2 M KCl extraction under the OT plantation were greater than under the GT plantation, while concentrations of soil SON were greater in the middle slope (MS) and lower slope (LS) positions than in the upper slope (US) position. Trends in soil microbial biomass C and N and protease and asparaginase activities between the two genotypes and across the slope positions were similar to the SON pools. The fungalto- bacterial ratios were higher in the US position than in the MS and LS positions and higher under the GT plantation than under the OT plantation. Results from this study support that the genotype and the slope position are key factors controlling the availability of soil SON in tea plantations and also imply the importance of plant traits (e.g. litter quantity and chemistry) and soil texture in determining overall soil N availability and transformation processes and microbial community composition at the landscape level.
Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified