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Iowa State University

Soil organic matter

2014

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Breaking The Enzymatic Latch: Impacts Of Reducing Conditions On Hydrolytic Enzyme Activity In Tropical Forest Soils, Steven J. Hall, Jonathan Treffkorn, Whendee L. Silver Oct 2014

Breaking The Enzymatic Latch: Impacts Of Reducing Conditions On Hydrolytic Enzyme Activity In Tropical Forest Soils, Steven J. Hall, Jonathan Treffkorn, Whendee L. Silver

Steven J. Hall

The enzymatic latch hypothesis proposes that oxygen (O2) limitation promotes wetland carbon (C) storage by indirectly decreasing the activities of hydrolytic enzymes that decompose organic matter. Humid tropical forest soils are often characterized by low and fluctuating redox conditions and harbor a large pool of organic matter, yet they also have the fastest decomposition rates globally. We tested the enzymatic latch hypothesis across a soil O2 gradient in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, USA. Enzyme activities expressed on a soil mass basis did not systematically decline across a landscape O2 gradient, nor did phenolics accumulate, the proposed mechanism of …