Pedosphere 14(1): 9--15, 2004
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2004 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Impact of pH on microbial biomass carbon and microbial biomass phosphorus in red soils
CHEN Guo-Chao1, HE Zhen-Li1 and WANG Yi-Jun2
1 Department of Natural Resource Science, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Huajiachi Campus, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029 (China). E-mail:
2 Lanai Municipal Running Water Corporation, Lanai 321100 (China)
      The impact of pH changes on microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) and microbial biomass phosphorus (Pmic) were examined for 3 red soils under citrus production with different lengths of cultivation. Soil pH significantly affected Cmic and Pmic. The Cmic and Pmic changes, as a function of soil pH, appeared to follow a normal distribution with the original soil pH value at the apex and as pH increased or decreased compared to the original soil pH, Cmic and Pmic declined. Moreover, there were critical pH values at both extremes (3.0 on the acidic side and 8.0 to 8.5 on the alkaline side), beyond which most of microorganisms could never survive. The effect of pH on Cmic and Pmic was also related to the original soil pH. The higher the original soil pH was, the less Cmic or Pmic were affected by pH change. It is suggested that soil microorganisms that grow in a soil environment with a more neutral soil pH range (i.e. pH 5.5-7.5) may have a greater tolerance to pH changes than those growing in more acidic or more alkaline soil pH conditions.
Key Words:  microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass phosphorus, red soils, soil pH
Citation: Chen, G. C., He, Z. L. and Wang, Y. J. 2004. Impact of pH on microbial biomass carbon and microbial biomass phosphorus in red soils. Pedosphere. 14(1): 9-15.
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