Long-term As contamination alters soil enzyme functional stability in response to additional heat disturbance.


College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Agro-environment in Northwest China, Ministry of Agriculture, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China. Electronic address: [Email]


The functional stability of soil enzymes is fundamental to the sustainability of soil biochemical processes and is affected by many environmental stressors. This study focused on the influences of long-term arsenic (As) contamination on soil enzyme functional stability: the resistance (ratio of the disturbed to control) and resilience (integrated recovery rate) of soil enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, urease, acid phosphatase, fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolase) over 30 days incubation after an experimental heat disturbance (50 oC for 18 h). Results showed that the resistance of soil enzymes to heat disturbance differed among the enzyme types and followed the order: urease > β-glucosidase > acid phosphatase > FDA hydrolase. Urease activity was generally not affected and showed high stability against heat disturbance. The β-glucosidase activity recovered to the control level by 30 days, while 80% and 90% recovery on average occurred for acid phosphatase and FDA hydrolase, respectively. Long-term As contamination altered soil enzyme functional resistance and resilience to heat disturbance and resulted in three kinds of responses: (i) no apparent alteration (urease); (ii) moderate As contamination increased enzyme heat resistance (β-glucosidase); (iii) the resistance and resilience decreased with increasing As concentration (acid phosphatase and FDA hydrolase). The results demonstrated that different enzyme-catalytic biochemical processes have different functional stabilities under combined As and heat disturbance, and the negative changes in the soil enzyme activity led to losses in soil functions. Our study provides further evidence on the impacts of heavy metal/metalloid on soil enzyme functional stability in response to additional disturbance.


As contamination,Resilience,Resistance,Soil enzyme,Soil functional stability,