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Journal of Arid Land  2022, Vol. 14 Issue (7): 824-836    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0098-5
Research article     
Spatiotemporal variation and correlation of soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties in canopy gaps of the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China
ABAY Peryzat1,2, GONG Lu1,2,*(), CHEN Xin1,2,3, LUO Yan1,2, WU Xue1,2
1College of Ecology and Environment, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830017, China
2Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology, Ministry of Education, Urumqi 830017, China
3College of Resources and Environmental, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
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The study of the heterogeneity of soil enzyme activities at different sampling locations in canopy gaps will help understand the influence mechanism of canopy gaps on soil ecological processes. In this paper, we analyzed the spatiotemporal variation of soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties at different sampling locations (closed canopy, expanded edge, canopy edge, gap center) in different sampling time (December, February, April, June, August, and October) on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China. The results showed that soil catalase, cellulase, sucrase, and acid phosphatase activities were relatively high from June to October and low from December to April, and most of soil enzyme activities were higher at closed canopy than at gap center. Soil urease activity was high during December-February. The soil temperature reached the highest value during June-August and was relatively high at gap center in October, December, and February. Soil water content was significantly higher in December and April than in other months. Soil bulk density was higher at gap center than at closed canopy in December. Soil pH and soil electrical conductivity in most months were higher at closed canopy than at gap center. Soil organic carbon, soil total nitrogen, and soil total phosphorus were generally higher at gap center than at closed canopy. Furthermore, sampling time played a leading role in the dynamic change of soil enzyme activity. The key factors affecting soil enzyme activity were soil temperature and soil water content, which were governed by canopy gaps. These results provide important support for further understanding the influence mechanism of forest ecosystem management and conservation on the Tianshan Mountains.

Key wordssoil enzyme activity      soil physicochemical property      spatiotemporal variation      canopy gap      Tianshan Mountains     
Received: 10 April 2022      Published: 31 July 2022
Corresponding Authors: * GONG Lu (E-mail:
Cite this article:

ABAY Peryzat, GONG Lu, CHEN Xin, LUO Yan, WU Xue. Spatiotemporal variation and correlation of soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties in canopy gaps of the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2022, 14(7): 824-836.

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Fig. 1 Spatiotemporal variation of soil enzyme activities. (a), soil catalase activity; (b), soil cellulase activity; (c), soil sucrase activity; (d), soil urease activity; (e), soil acid phosphatase activity. Different lowercase letters represent the significant differences among the four sampling locations (closed canopy, expanded edge, canopy edge, gap center) at the same sampling time (P<0.05), and different uppercase letters represent the significant difference among sampling time (P<0.05). Bars mean standard errors.
Controlled variable Observed variable df Sum of square Mean of square F value Partial η2
Sampling time Soil catalase activity 5 2542.18 508.44 45.03** 0.82
Soil cellulase activity 5 1899.15 379.83 84.31** 0.90
Soil sucrase activity 5 3735.42 747.08 84.94** 0.90
Soil urease activity 5 260,504.71 52,100.94 65.75** 0.87
Soil acid phosphatase activity 5 126.34 25.27 42.93** 0.82
Sampling location Soil catalase activity 3 287.40 95.80 8.49** 0.35
Soil cellulase activity 3 221.71 73.91 16.41** 0.51
Soil sucrase activity 3 115.79 38.60 4.39* 0.22
Soil urease activity 3 40,600.06 13,533.35 17.80** 0.52
Soil acid phosphatase activity 3 1.827 0.61 1.04 0.06
Sampling time×Sampling location Soil catalase activity 15 401.44 26.77 2.37* 0.43
Soil cellulase activity 15 362.44 24.16 5.36** 0.63
Soil sucrase activity 15 281.62 18.78 2.14* 0.40
Soil urease activity 15 48,513.34 3234.22 4.08** 0.56
Soil acid phosphatase activity 15 31.30 2.09 3.55** 0.53
Table 1 Effects of sampling time, sampling location, and their interaction on soil enzyme activities
Fig. 2 Spatiotemporal variation of soil physicochemical properties. (a), soil temperature; (b), soil water content; (c), soil bulk density; (d), soil pH; (e), soil electrical conductivity; (f), soil organic carbon; (g), soil total nitrogen; (h), soil total phosphorus. Different lowercase letters represent the significant differences among the four sampling locations at the same sampling time (P<0.05), and different uppercase letters represent the significant difference among sampling time (P<0.05). Bars mean standard errors.
Controlled variable Observed variable df Sum of square Mean of square F value Partial η2
Sampling time Soil temperature 5 3711.90 742.38 540.25** 0.98
Soil water content 5 1170.31 234.06 21.60** 0.69
Soil bulk density 5 0.30 0.06 29.35** 0.75
Soil pH 5 2.31 0.46 30.27** 0.76
Soil electrical conductivity 5 0.21 0.04 239.86** 0.96
Soil organic carbon 5 1011.43 202.29 2.48* 0.21
Soil total nitrogen 5 0.13 0.03 2.10 0.18
Soil total phosphorus 5 0.09 0.02 20.33** 0.68
Sampling location Soil temperature 3 5.58 1.86 1.35 0.08
Soil water content 3 134.69 44.90 4.14* 0.21
Soil bulk density 3 0.02 0.01 3.14* 0.16
Soil pH 3 7.60 2.53 165.88** 0.91
Soil electrical conductivity 3 0.06 0.02 106.31** 0.87
Soil organic carbon 3 2267.54 755.85 9.26** 0.37
Soil total nitrogen 3 0.22 0.07 5.88** 0.27
Soil total phosphorus 3 0.03 0.01 12.96** 0.45
Sampling time×Sampling location Soil temperature 15 9.80 0.65 0.48 0.13
Soil water content 15 88.39 5.89 0.54 0.15
Soil bulk density 15 0.09 0.01 3.05** 0.49
Soil pH 15 1.77 0.12 7.75** 0.71
Soil electrical conductivity 15 0.05 0.00 19.65** 0.86
Soil organic carbon 15 595.43 39.70 0.49 0.13
Soil total nitrogen 15 0.08 0.01 0.43 0.12
Soil total phosphorus 15 0.03 0.00 2.27* 0.41
Table 2 Effects of sampling time, sampling location, and their interaction on soil physicochemical properties
Fig. 3 Redundancy analysis (RDA, a) and correlation heat map (b) between soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties. Cat, soil catalase activity; Cel, soil cellulase activity; Ure, soil urease activity; Suc, soil sucrase activity; Acp, soil acid phosphatase activity; ST, soil temperature; SWC, soil water content; SBD, soil bulk density; pH, soil pH; SEC, soil electrical conductivity; SOC, soil organic carbon; TN, soil total nitrogen; TP, soil total phosphorus. **, P<0.01 level; *, P<0.05 level.
Soil physicochemical property F value P value
Soil temperature 40.03 0.002
Soil water content 23.85 0.002
Soil bulk density 22.62 0.002
Soil pH 5.00 0.008
Soil electrical conductivity 5.20 0.006
Soil organic carbon 1.51 0.226
Soil total nitrogen 1.34 0.262
Soil total phosphorus 6.17 0.008
Table 3 Results of the Monte Carlo test for soil physicochemical properties
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