Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-499-2020
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, Julia Gensel, Marcus Elvert, and Dominik Zak

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Latest update: 25 May 2024
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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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