Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
08 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Non-destructive estimates of soil carbonic anhydrase activity and soil water oxygen isotope composition
Sam P. Jones, Jérôme Ogée, Joana Sauze, Steven Wohl, Noelia Saavedra, Noelia Fernández-Prado, Juliette Maire, Thomas Launois, Alexandre Bosc, and Lisa Wingate ISPA, Bordeaux Science Agro, INRA, Villenave d'Ornon 33140, France
Abstract. The contribution of photosynthesis and soil respiration to net land-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange can be estimated based on the differential influence of leaves and soils on budgets of the oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of atmospheric CO2. To do so, the activity of carbonic anhydrases (CA), a group of enzymes that catalyse the hydration of CO2, in soils and plants needs to be understood. Measurements of soil CA activity typically involve the inversion of models describing the δ18O of CO2 fluxes to solve for the apparent, potentially catalysed, rate of CO2 hydration. This requires information about the δ18O of CO2 in isotopic equilibrium with soil water, typically obtained from destructive, depth-resolved sampling and extraction of soil water. In doing so, an assumption is made about the soil water pool that CO2 interacts with, that may bias estimates of CA activity if incorrect. Furthermore, this can represent a significant challenge in data collection given the potential for spatial and temporal variability in the δ18O of soil water and limited a priori information with respect to the appropriate sampling resolution and depth. We investigated whether we could circumvent this requirement by inferring the rate of CO2 hydration and the δ18O of soil water from the relationship between the δ18O of CO2 fluxes and the δ18O of CO2 at the soil surface measured at different ambient CO2 conditions. This approach was tested through laboratory incubations of air-dried soils that were re-wetted with three waters of different δ18O. Gas exchange measurements were made on these soils to estimate the rate of hydration and the δ18O of soil water, followed by soil water extraction to allow for comparison. Estimated rates of CO2 hydration were 6.8 to 14.6 times greater than the theoretical un-catalysed rate of hydration, indicating that CA were active in these soils. Importantly, these estimates were not significantly different among water treatments suggesting that this represents a robust approach to assay the activity of CA in soil. As expected, estimates of the δ18O of the soil water that equilibrates with CO2 varied in response to alteration to the δ18O of soil water. However, these estimates were consistently more negative than the composition of the soil water extracted by cryogenic vacuum distillation at the end of the gas measurements with differences of up to −3.94 ‰ VSMOW. These offsets suggest that CO2 may be principally interacting with water pools associated with particle surfaces rather than the bulk water pool under the incubation conditions of this study.

Citation: Jones, S. P., Ogée, J., Sauze, J., Wohl, S., Saavedra, N., Fernández-Prado, N., Maire, J., Launois, T., Bosc, A., and Wingate, L.: Non-destructive estimates of soil carbonic anhydrase activity and soil water oxygen isotope composition, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Sam P. Jones et al.
Sam P. Jones et al.


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