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Penguins significantly increased phosphine formation and phosphorus contribution in maritime Antarctic soils
Zhu, R.; Wang, Q.; Ding, D.; Wang, C.; Hou, L.; Ma, D. (2014). Penguins significantly increased phosphine formation and phosphorus contribution in maritime Antarctic soils. NPG Scientific Reports 4(7055): 9 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep07055
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Zhu, R.
  • Wang, Q.
  • Ding, D.
  • Wang, C.
  • Hou, L.
  • Ma, D.

Abstract
    Most studies on phosphorus cycle in the natural environment focused on phosphates, with limited data available for the reduced phosphine (PH3). In this paper, matrix-bound phosphine (MBP), gaseous phosphine fluxes and phosphorus fractions in the soils were investigated from a penguin colony, a seal colony and the adjacent animal-lacking tundra and background sites. The MBP levels (mean 200.3 ng kg−1) in penguin colony soils were much higher than those in seal colony soils, animal-lacking tundra soils and the background soils. Field PH3 flux observation and laboratory incubation experiments confirmed that penguin colony soils produced much higher PH3 emissions than seal colony soils and animal-lacking tundra soils. Overall high MBP levels and PH3 emissions were modulated by soil biogeochemical processes associated with penguin activities: sufficient supply of the nutrients phosphorus, nitrogen, and organic carbon from penguin guano, high soil bacterial abundance and phosphatase activity. It was proposed that organic or inorganic phosphorus compounds from penguin guano or seal excreta could be reduced to PH3 in the Antarctic soils through the bacterial activity. Our results indicated that penguin activity significantly increased soil phosphine formation and phosphorus contribution, thus played an important role in phosphorus cycle in terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica.

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