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Impact of forest vegetation on soil characteristics: a correlation between soil biological and physico-chemical properties

Chandra, L.R., Gupta, S., Pande, V., Singh, N.
3 Biotech 2016 v.6 no.2 pp. 188
carbon, climatic factors, deciduous forests, enzyme activity, forest stands, microbial activity, microbial biomass, nitrogen, phosphorus, physicochemical properties, root exudates, soil microorganisms, soil properties, soil respiration, temperate forests, terrestrial ecosystems, trees, India
Temperate and dry deciduous forest covers major portion of terrestrial ecosystem in India. The two forest types with different dominant tree species differ in litter quality and root exudates, thereby exerting species-specific impact on soil properties and microbial activity. This study aims to examine the influence of forest type or dominant tree species on soil physico-chemical properties and its relationship with microbial characters in temperate and dry deciduous forest types. We assessed soil physico-chemical properties among five different sites located within the selected forest stand covered by different dominant species. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), nitrogen (MBN) and phosphorous (MBP) were recorded high in oak soil, i.e., the MBC/TOC ratio was significantly higher in dry deciduous forest. Basal respiration was recorded highest at oak-mixed soil while qCO₂ was comparatively high in oak soil. Temperate forest displayed the highest MBC/MBN ratio, while dry deciduous forest had the highest MBC/MBP ratio. Moreover, the MBN/TN ratio was found high in dry deciduous forest, whereas MBP/TP ratio was high in temperate forest. Additionally, the enzyme activities were significantly higher in an oak-mixed soil among all the sites. The results displayed that the soil microbial characters and soil physico-chemical uniqueness are interrelated, and were significantly influenced by specific forest type and climatic variables.