Data for: The soil priming effect: consistent across ecosystems, elusive mechanisms

Published: 4 November 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/wbcjrm6bry.1
Bruce Hungate


Organic matter input to soils can accelerate the decomposition of native soil carbon (C), a process called the priming effect. Priming is ubiquitous, but a universal explanation remains elusive, in part because of variation in the response across different ecosystems and in response to the amount and stoichiometry of added substrate. Here, we conducted five-week incubations in four soils (grassland, piñon-juniper, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer), varying the amount of substrate added (as 13C-glucose, either 350 or 1000 µg C g-1) and its carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (either with no added nitrogen such that the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio was infinite, or with sufficient NH4NO3 to bring the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of the added substrate to 10). The data contained in this submission include measurements of soil priming in laboratory incubations, along with putative drivers of the priming effect: microbial biomass carbon, turnover, enzyme activities, and soil carbon accumulation.



Soil Organic Matter, Biogeochemistry, Carbon Cycle, Microbial Ecology