Open Access iconOpen Access



How Physical Disturbance and Nitrogen Addition Affect the Soil Carbon Decomposition?

Muhammad Junaid Nazir1,2, Xiuwei Zhang1,*, Daolin Du2, Feihai Yu1

1 Institute of Wetland Ecology & Clone Ecology/Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation, Taizhou University, Taizhou, 318000, China
2 College of the Environment & Safety Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, China

* Corresponding Author: Xiuwei Zhang. Email: email

(This article belongs to the Special Issue: The Effect of Soil Quality Degradation on the Plant Growth, Quality and Food Safety in Subtropical Agroforestry Ecosystems)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2022, 91(9), 2087-2097.


The decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a critical role in regulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate dynamics. However, the mechanisms and factors controlling SOC decomposition are still not fully understood. Here, we conducted a 60 days incubation experiment to test the effects of physical disturbance and nitrogen (N) addition on SOC decomposition. N addition increased the concentration of NO3- by 51% in the soil, but had little effect on the concentration of NH4+. N addition inhibited SOC decomposition, but such an effect differed between disturbed and undisturbed soils. In disturbed and undisturbed soils, application of N decreased SOC decomposition by 37% and 15%, respectively. One possible explanation is that extra N input suppressed microbial N mining and/or increased the stability of soil organic matter by promoting the formation of soil aggregates and incorporating part of the inorganic N into organic matter, and consequently decreased microbial mineralization of soil organic matter. Physical disturbance intensified the inhibition of N on SOC decomposition, likely because physical disturbance allowed the added N to be better exposed to soil microbes and consequently increased the availability of added N. We conclude that physical disturbance and N play important roles in modulating the stability of SOC.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Nazir, M.J., Zhang, X., Du, D., Yu, F. (2022). How physical disturbance and nitrogen addition affect the soil carbon decomposition?. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(9), 2087-2097.
Vancouver Style
Nazir MJ, Zhang X, Du D, Yu F. How physical disturbance and nitrogen addition affect the soil carbon decomposition?. Phyton-Int J Exp Bot. 2022;91(9):2087-2097
IEEE Style
M.J. Nazir, X. Zhang, D. Du, and F. Yu "How Physical Disturbance and Nitrogen Addition Affect the Soil Carbon Decomposition?," Phyton-Int. J. Exp. Bot., vol. 91, no. 9, pp. 2087-2097. 2022.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 1857


  • 711


  • 0


Share Link