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Reductions in microbial biomass along disturbance gradients in a semi-natural grassland

Mårtensson, Linda-Maria LU and Olsson, Pål Axel LU (2012) In Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology 62. p.8-13
Abstract
Soil disturbance is a common phenomenon in semi-natural sandy grasslands, caused by management practices, livestock trampling and erosion. To better understand ecosystem processes when the surface layers of the soil are disturbed, we investigated the effects of disturbance on different functional microbial groups by the use of signature fatty acid analysis. Four levels of disturbance were investigated in local disturbance gradients in an area with semi-natural sandy grassland. Festuca brevipila Tracey (Poaceae) was used as the study plant to investigate the response of plant and microbial biomass to disturbance. The plant was chosen since it dominated the site and was present at all levels of disturbance. The amount of arbuscular... (More)
Soil disturbance is a common phenomenon in semi-natural sandy grasslands, caused by management practices, livestock trampling and erosion. To better understand ecosystem processes when the surface layers of the soil are disturbed, we investigated the effects of disturbance on different functional microbial groups by the use of signature fatty acid analysis. Four levels of disturbance were investigated in local disturbance gradients in an area with semi-natural sandy grassland. Festuca brevipila Tracey (Poaceae) was used as the study plant to investigate the response of plant and microbial biomass to disturbance. The plant was chosen since it dominated the site and was present at all levels of disturbance. The amount of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the roots of the study plant was not affected by soil disturbance. The amount of AM fungi, saprotrophic fungi and bacteria in the soil was significantly reduced by increasing level of soil disturbance, coinciding with a reduced vegetation cover and decreasing soil organic matter content. Increasing levels of soil disturbance resulted in elevated soil pH and concentration of inorganic N, whereas the water content and organic matter content was reduced. The shoot N:P ratios of the grass investigated increased with the level of disturbance. We conclude that soil disturbance disfavours fungi due to mechanical interruption of hyphae and through reduced plant biomass. We also conclude that soil disturbance disfavours bacteria in the long run due to reduced organic matter content. (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Microbial, Bacterial PLFAs, NLFA 16:1 omega 5, 9, PLFA 18:2 omega 6, biomass, Disturbance, Erosion
in
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology
volume
62
pages
8 - 13
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000313309800002
  • scopus:84866523786
ISSN
0929-1393
DOI
10.1016/j.apsoil.2012.07.003
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c9f37230-9503-4bb6-8e60-680ad1559f2f (old id 3577692)
date added to LUP
2013-03-22 13:28:10
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:10:02
@article{c9f37230-9503-4bb6-8e60-680ad1559f2f,
  abstract     = {Soil disturbance is a common phenomenon in semi-natural sandy grasslands, caused by management practices, livestock trampling and erosion. To better understand ecosystem processes when the surface layers of the soil are disturbed, we investigated the effects of disturbance on different functional microbial groups by the use of signature fatty acid analysis. Four levels of disturbance were investigated in local disturbance gradients in an area with semi-natural sandy grassland. Festuca brevipila Tracey (Poaceae) was used as the study plant to investigate the response of plant and microbial biomass to disturbance. The plant was chosen since it dominated the site and was present at all levels of disturbance. The amount of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the roots of the study plant was not affected by soil disturbance. The amount of AM fungi, saprotrophic fungi and bacteria in the soil was significantly reduced by increasing level of soil disturbance, coinciding with a reduced vegetation cover and decreasing soil organic matter content. Increasing levels of soil disturbance resulted in elevated soil pH and concentration of inorganic N, whereas the water content and organic matter content was reduced. The shoot N:P ratios of the grass investigated increased with the level of disturbance. We conclude that soil disturbance disfavours fungi due to mechanical interruption of hyphae and through reduced plant biomass. We also conclude that soil disturbance disfavours bacteria in the long run due to reduced organic matter content. (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.},
  author       = {Mårtensson, Linda-Maria and Olsson, Pål Axel},
  issn         = {0929-1393},
  keyword      = {Microbial,Bacterial PLFAs,NLFA 16:1 omega 5,9,PLFA 18:2 omega 6,biomass,Disturbance,Erosion},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {8--13},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Applied Soil Ecology},
  title        = {Reductions in microbial biomass along disturbance gradients in a semi-natural grassland},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2012.07.003},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2012},
}