Pedosphere 19(6): 735--747, 2009
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2009 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Soil microbial activity during secondary vegetation succession in semiarid abandoned lands of Loess Plateau
JIANG Jin-Ping1,4, XIONG You-Cai1, JIANG Hong-Mei2, YE De-You3, SONG Ya-Jie5 and LI Feng-Min1
1 Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology of Education Ministry of China, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)
2 Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology of Education Ministry of China, School of Resources and Environment Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 (China)
3 Gansu Academy of Agricultural Science, Lanzhou 730070 (China)
4 Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)
5 School of Forestry and Environment Studies, Yale University, New Haven CT06511 (USA)
ABSTRACT
      To show the vegetation succession interaction with soil properties, microbial biomass, basal respiration, and enzyme activities in different soil layers (0-60 cm) were determined in six lands, i.e., 2-, 7-, 11-, 20-, and 43-year-old abandoned lands and one native grassland, in a semiarid hilly area of the Loess Plateau. The results indicated that the successional time and soil depths affected soil microbiological parameters significantly. In 20-cm soil layer, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), MBC/MBN, MBC to soil organic carbon ratio (MBC/SOC), and soil basal respiration tended to increase with successional stages but decrease with soil depths. In contrast, metabolic quotient (qCO2) tended to decrease with successional stages but increase with soil depths. In addition, the activities of urease, catalase, neutral phosphatase, β-fructofuranosidase, and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) enzyme increased with successional stages and soil depths. They were significantly positively correlated with microbial biomass and SOC (P < 0.5), whereas no obvious trend was observed for the polyphenoloxidase activity. The results indicated that natural vegetation succession could improve soil quality and promote ecosystem restoration, but it needed a long time under local climate conditions.
Key Words:  microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, SOC, soil enzyme activity
Citation: Jiang, J. P., Xiong, Y. C., Jiang, H. M., Ye, D. Y., Song, Y. J. and Li, F. M. 2009. Soil microbial activity during secondary vegetation succession in semiarid abandoned lands of Loess Plateau. Pedosphere. 19(6): 735-747.
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