Main content area

Evaluating soil biochemical/microbial indices as ecological indicators of different land use/cover in northern Iran

Moghimian, Negar, Hosseini, Seyed Mohsen, Kooch, Yahya, Darki, Behrouz Zarei
Acta ecologica Sinica 2019 v.39 no.4 pp. 328-333
Alnus subcordata, Sequoia, environmental indicators, forests, home gardens, improved fallow, land use, microbial carbon, microbial nitrogen, soil, soil quality, Iran
The objective of the study was to examine changes in microbial parameters have been used to monitor changes in soil quality under different land uses in north of Iran. The microbial parameters included microbial respiration (MR), substrate induced respiration (SIR), carbon availability index (CAI), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), ratio of MBC/MBN, metabolic quotient (qCO2) and microbial ratio were determined under different land use/cover, i.e. virgin natural forest (VNF), degraded natural forest (DNF), alder plantation (AP), sequoia plantation (SP), improved fallow (IF) and home garden (HG) areas in northern Iran. Five composed samples per land use/cover were taken from the top 10 cm of the soil. MR and SIR (0.45 and 1.66 mg CO2-C g−1 day−1, respectively) were found to be significantly higher under AP land uses than in the other areas. CAI did not differ for the land uses; MBC (591 and 590 mg kg−1, respectively) had higher significantly under SP and VNF land uses than in the other areas. MBN (64.25 and 62.33, respectively mg kg−1) was significantly higher in AP and VNF land uses, ratio of MBC/MBN (17.02) was higher in SP land use than other areas, HG had significantly higher qCO2 (0.0012 μg CO2-C mg−1 MBC day−1) and finally microbial ratio was significantly higher under IF (599.16) in comparison with HG > AP ≈ DNF > VNF > SP areas. Overall, our results indicate that AP land use (Alnus subcordata C. A. Mey.) increase of soil quality and alder plantation is suitable for rehabilitation of degraded natural forests.