Research

September 14, 2020 at 9:28 pm

DeForest Authors Several Papers on Enzyme Activity in Southeast Ohio Soil

Jared DeForest, portrait

Dr. Jared DeForest

Dr. Jared DeForest has authored several journal articles this year, most recently continuing his research on the effects of fertilizer on the soil in southeast Ohio forests.

DeForest has been studying changes in the nutrient composition of the soil in forests, including a rise in the maple tree population and the effects of pollution such as acid rain. The research has implications for forest management practices, as oak is a valuable source of timber and supports a diverse ecosystem of plants, insects and animals.

Most recently, he authored an article describing how long-term additions of lime and/or phosphate fertilizer caused an increase in the availability of phosphorus in mixed mesophytic deciduous forest soil on the unglaciated portion of the Allegheny Plateau in southeast Ohio.

“Increasing soil pH and/or inorganic phosphorus alters the enzyme activity in the soil,” DeForest says, noting that this enzyme activity—called phosphatase activity—is essential to many biological functions. Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant growth.

This study shows that the stoichiometry of extracellular enzymes are tightly coupled, but when the availability of soil phosphate increases, the relatively importance of nitrogen or carbon-acquiring enzymes increases when compared to phosphatase. This result was similar in the forest floor, despite higher organic matter and more available nutrients. It was also discovered that increasing soil phosphate also favors more efficient forms of phosphatase activity. Overall, this study provides additional evidence that the acquisition of nutrients in forested ecosystems are synergic.

Recent Journal Articles

DeForest, J.L. and Moorhead D.L. (2020) Effects of elevated pH and phosphorus fertilizer on the ecoenzymatic stoichiometry of organic and mineral soils in an acidic mixed mesophytic deciduous forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Dove, N.C., Arogyaswamy, K., Billings, S.A., Bothoff, J.K., Carey, C.J., Cisco, C., DeForest, J. L., Fairbanks, D., Fierer, N., Kaye, J.P., Lohse, K. A., Maltz, M.R., Mayora, E., Pett-Ridge, J., Yang, W.H., Hart, S.C., Aronson, E.L. (2020) Continental-scale patterns of extracellular enzyme activity in the subsoil: an overlooked reservoir of microbial activity. Environmental Research Letters.

Mason, L.M., Eagar, A., Patel, P., Blackwood, C.B., DeForest, J.L., 2020. Potential microbial bioindicators of phosphorus mining in a temperate deciduous forest. Journal of Applied Microbiology.

DeForest, J.L. and Otuya, R.K. (2020). Soil nitrification increases with elevated phosphorus or soil pH in an acidic mixed mesophytic deciduous forest. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 142: 107716.

DeForest, J.L., and Snell, R.S. (2020). Tree growth response to shifting soil nutrient economy depends on mycorrhizal associations. New Phytologist, 225:2557-2566.

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