, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 181-189

Microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil profiles of different vegetation covers established for soil rehabilitation in a red soil region of southeastern China

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This study investigated the distribution of microbial biomass carbon (MB-C), nitrogen (MB-N) and phosphorus (MB-P) in the soil profiles of five different vegetation systems including bare area (Br), Bamboo (Bmb), Chinese Fir (CF), Citrus Orchard (Ctr) and Rice field (Rf). The MB-C levels in the Bmb system were higher than those in the other systems, and it decreased with increasing soil depth in all vegetation systems except the Bmb. The highest MB-N was detected in the top 20 cm of soil for the Bmb and in the 20~40 cm soil layer for the other vegetation systems such as Ctr, CF and Rf. The order of soil MB-P levels from highest to lowest was as follows: Bmb > CF > Ctr > Rf > Br. In all vegetation systems the level of MB-P decreased with increasing soil depth. Experimental results showed that the ratio of MB-C to TOC ranged from 0.75~2.7%, agreeing well with ranges previously reported by many others. Results also indicate that vegetation covers and management practices have a strong impact on the development and distribution of soil microbial properties in the soil profile.