Seasonal effects on microbial community structure and nitrogen dynamics in temperate forest soil

Tomohiro Yokobe, Fujio Hyodo, Naoko Tokuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The soil microbial community and nitrogen (N) dynamics change seasonally due to several factors. The microbial community structure (MCS) can regulate N dynamics. However, there is insufficient information on seasonal changes in MCS and the relationship between MCS and N dynamics. We investigated MCS and N dynamics in forest soils with two different fertilities throughout a year. MCS, measured with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, showed a consistent seasonal trend, regardless of the fertility. Microbial indices (particularly the Saturated-/monounsaturated-PLFA ratio; Sat/mono) indicated a major PLFA shift among seasons, with temperature likely the most important factor. The fungal-/bacterial-PLFA ratio in the dormant season (December-April) was approximately 1.3 times greater than in the growing season (June-November). The trend in N dynamics showed that in summer (June-August), the gross N mineralization potential was greater than immobilization, whereas in winter (December-April), immobilization was dominant. The net mineralization potential in the growing season was approximately 1.6 times higher than in the dormant season. Moreover, a relationship was found between Sat/mono andNtransformation potentials. We highlight the microbial sensitivity to seasonal dynamics which can be associated with temperature, as well as carbon and N dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 19 2018


  • Gross nitrogen transformations
  • Nitrogen dynamics
  • PLFA
  • Seasons
  • Soil microbial communities
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal effects on microbial community structure and nitrogen dynamics in temperate forest soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this