Ecological stoichiometry of microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus on bauxite residue disposal areas

Cheng, Q., Xue, R., Wu, H., Hartley, W., Zhang, Y., Zhou, L. and Xue, S. (2020) Ecological stoichiometry of microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus on bauxite residue disposal areas. Geomicrobiology Journal.

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Ecological succession by microbial activity on bauxite residue disposal areas (BRDAs) would accumulate nutrients and convert the residue into a soil-like material. However, the role of microorganisms in nutrient cycling remains elusive on BRDAs. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) ecological stoichiometry is a critical indicator of nutrient cycling in an ecosystem. In order to investigate the changes in nutrients following long-term natural weathering process, the contents of C, N, P, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), nitrogen (MBN), and phosphorus (MBP) were measured in chronological stacks of bauxite residue. Deeply, their ecological stoichiometric characteristics were analyzed. Compared to freshly stacked residue, organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN) and available phosphorus (AP) have increased 89%, 1640%, and 369% after 20 years, respectively. The C/N in 20-year-old residue (BR20) is 12.41, which close to the mean range of soil C/N in China. Bauxite residue C/P and N/P increased significantly with the stacking age increased. MBC/MBN decreased from 6.75 to 4.52 after stacked for 5 years, whilst MBC/MBP increased from 23.74 to 59.16 with stacking age. Data analysis of C, N, P and MBC, MBN, MBP in bauxite residue correlated significantly, indicating that microbial biomass can be used as a biological indicator to evaluate bauxite residue quality. This study revealed that BRDAs ecosystem development reaches homeostasis gradually, whilst CNP and MBCNP substrate ratio can be used as an effective tool to explore the mechanism of nutrient cycling.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bauxite residue, bauxite residue disposal areas, ecological stoichiometry, nutrient cycling, microbial biomass
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 16:58
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 16:58

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