Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Biogeosciences, 17, 499–514, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-499-2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 499–514, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-499-2020

Research article 31 Jan 2020

Research article | 31 Jan 2020

Evidence for preferential protein depolymerization in wetland soils in response to external nitrogen availability provided by a novel FTIR routine

Hendrik Reuter et al.

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FTIR, CuO lignin, and bulk decomposition data of a 75-day anoxic Phragmites australis litter decomposition experiment in soil substrates from three northeast German wetlands H. Reuter, J. Gensel, M. Elvert, and D. Zak https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.902181

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Short summary
Using infrared spectroscopy, we developed a routine to disentangle microbial nitrogen (N) and plant N in decomposed litter. In a decomposition experiment in three wetland soils, this routine revealed preferential protein depolymerization as a decomposition-site-dependent parameter, unaffected by variations in initial litter N content. In Sphagnum peat, preferential protein depolymerization led to a N depletion of still-unprocessed litter tissue, i.e., a gradual loss of litter quality.
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