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|Titolo:||Soil activities related to nitrogen cycle as affected by plant cover and seasonal variations in water availability in Mediterranean environment|
|Autori interni:||FIORETTO, Antonietta|
RUTIGLIANO, Flora Angela
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Rivista:||APPLIED SOIL ECOLOGY|
|Abstract:||Soil microbial activities and chemical properties related to the N cycle were investigated in function of variations in plant cover type in a Mediterranean area of Southern Italy. Several biological (microbial biomass, soil respiration, protease activity, degradation of 7 amino acids, net N mineralization, net nitrification, potential net nitrification and denitrification) and chemical properties (water content, pH, organic C, total and mineral N, C/N ratio) were determined in soil samples collected in spring and early autumn under three plant cover types (high maquis, low shrub community and meadow) epitomizing distinct successional stages following disturbance. Water content, organic C and C/N ratio were higher in soil from high maquis than in soils from the other plant cover types; in contrast, no difference was generally observed between the three soil types as for total and mineral N content. Likewise, no clear-cut difference was recorded for most of the tested biological parameters if these were expressed per unit of soil dry weight, with the exception of protease activity and soil respiration, which were significantly higher in the high maquis. However, when biological data were expressed per unit of organic C, meadow soil showed higher values of microbial biomass, asparagine degradation (only in spring), net mineralization and net nitrification (only in autumn) compared to the other soils. Statistical analysis pointed to seasonal fluctuation of water availability as an important limiting factor for microbial biomass and activity, with the exceptions of net N mineralization, net nitrification, glutamine and glutamic acid degradation activities which appeared to be mainly driven by organic matter content in soils. Overall, the results suggest that, in the investigated Mediterranean environment, variations in plant community ranging from meadow to high maquis produce little changes in soil biological activities linked to the N cycle, these being primarily affected by the availability of water and soil organic matter during the annual cycle.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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