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Site and management effects on soil microbial properties of sub-alpine meadows : a study of land abandonment along a north-south gradient in the European Alps.

Zeller, Valentina and Bardgett, Richard D. and Tappeiner, Ulrike (2001) Site and management effects on soil microbial properties of sub-alpine meadows : a study of land abandonment along a north-south gradient in the European Alps. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 33 (4-5). pp. 639-650. ISSN 0038-0717

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Abstract

We studied the factors which regulate microbial community organization in soils of managed ecosystems. Soil microbial biomass C and N (SMBC, SMBN), EC/ENIN ratio, ergosterol, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were determined in organically fertilised meadows and grasslands with abandoned management at three sites (Stubai Valley, Passeier Valley, and Monte Bondone) to study the relative importance of the factors site and management in governing the variability of soil microbial biomass and community structure in subalpine grasslands of the European Alps. Our data provide evidence that management abandonment has important effects on the structure of the soil microbial biomass, namely an increase in the fungal biomass. SMBC, SMBN, EC/ENIN ratio and ergosterol contents differed significantly between sites. SMBC was similar in abandoned and managed grasslands, whereas SMBN was lower and ergosterol contents were higher in abandoned grasslands as compared to managed meadows. We concluded that the impact of management abandonment on soil microbial biomass was of relatively less importance than effects of site and sampling time, and the effect of abandonment may be better detected at the community scale of resolution.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Management abandonment ; Subalpine meadows ; Microbial biomass ; Ergosterol ; Phospholipid fatty acid
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10304
Deposited By: Prof Richard Bardgett
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2008 16:39
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 10:49
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10304

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