, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 39-44

Effect of fungal to bacterial biomass ratio on the relationship between CO2 evolution and total soil microbial biomass

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Abstract

The relationship between the fungal: bacterial biomass ratio and the metabolic quotient (qCO2) was studied in three different soils. In addition, the effect of the fungal: bacterial biomass ratio on the relationship between CO2 evolution and the size of the soil microbial biomass was examined. Soil samples were collected from three experimental fields amended with various organic materials (Yatsugatake, Ibaraki, and Tochigi fields). The range of the fungal:bacterial biomass ratio in the Yatsugatake and Ibaraki fields was small (1.54–2.24 and 1.11–1.71, respectively), but it was large in the Tochigi field (1.18–3.75). We found a high negative correlation between this ratio and the metabolic quotient (qCO2=2.10−0.361 (fungal:bacterial biomass ratio), R=−0.851, P<0.01) in the Tochigi field. Therefore, we suggest tha qCO2 decreases with an increase in the fungal:bacterial biomass ratio, which may be due to a higher efficiency of substrate C use by fungal flora in comparison with bacterial flora. In the Yatsugatake and Ibaraki fields, there was a high positive correlation between CO2 evolution and total microbial biomass. In contrast, no correlation was observed between these two parameters in the Tochigi field, probably reflecting the wide range of values for the fungal:bacterial biomass ratio. From the results obtained, we suggest that the fungal: bacterial biomass ratio is an important factor regulating the relationship between CO2 evolution and the size of the microbial biomass.