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Active fractions of organic matter in soils with different texture

Franzluebbers, A.J., Haney, R.L., Hons, F.M., Zuberer, D.A.
Soil biology & biochemistry 1996 v.28 no.10/11 pp. 1367
soil organic matter, fractionation, carbon, soil microorganisms, biomass, mineralization, nitrogen, biological activity in soil, soil texture, clay, biogeochemical cycles, textural soil types, soil respiration, soil organic carbon, Texas
Relationships between soil organic C (SOC), soil microbial biomass C (SMBC), mineralizable C and N during a 21 d incubation, and basal soil respiration (BSR) were evaluated on eight soil types from Texas that varied in soil texture (7-45% clay) and organic matter. The portion of SOC as SMBC increased with increasing clay content, whereas the relationships of mineralizable C and N and BSR to SOC were not affected by soil texture. The ratio of BSR-to-SOC averaged 1.4 +/- 0.4 mg mineralizable C g-1 SOC d-1. The amount of mineralizable C and N and BSR per unit of SMBC, however, decreased with increasing clay content, indicating that the soil microbial biomass (SMB) was more active in coarse-textured soils than in fine-textured soils. The average specific respiratory activity was 29 mg mineralizable C g-1 SMBC d-1 with 10% clay and 11 mg mineralizable C g-1 SMBC d-1 with 40% clay. The C-to-N ratio of the mineralizable fraction was 10 +/- 3 and not affected by soil texture. The established relationships between active soil organic matter (SOM) fractions and soil texture could be used in models predicting SOM turnover.