Advertisement

Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Influence of texture on habitable pore space and bacterial-protozoan populations in soil

  • P. M. Rutherford
  • N. G. Juma
Article

Summary

Soil texture affects pore space, and bacterial and protozoan populations in soil. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that bacteria are more protected from protozoan predation in fine-textured soils than in coarse-textured soils because they have a larger volume of protected pore space available to them. The experiment consisted of three sterilized Orthic Black Chernozemic soils (silty clay, clay loam, and sandy loam) inoculated with bacteria, two treatments (with and without protozoa), and five sampling dates. The soils were amended with glucose and mineral N on day 0. On day 4 bacterial numbers in all three soils were approximately 3×109 g−1 soil. The greatest reduction in bacteria due to protozoan grazing occurred between day 4 and day 7. Compared to the treatment without protozoa, bacteria in the treatment with protozoa were reduced by 68, 50, and 75% in the silty clay, clay loam, and sandy loam, respectively. On day 4, 2 days after the protozoan inoculation, all protozoa were active. The numbers were 10330, 4760, and 15 380 g−1 soil for the silty clay, clay loam, and sandy loam, respectively. Between day 4 and day 7, the period of greatest bacterial decline, total protozoa increased greatly to 150480, 96160, and 192100 g−1 soil for the three soils, respectively. Most protozoa encysted by day 7. In all soils the addition of protozoa significantly increased CO2−C evolution per g soil relative to the treatment without protozoa. Our results support the hypothesis that bacteria are more protected from protozoan predation in fine-textured soils than in coarse-textured soils.

Key words

Predator-prey Soil structure Typic Cryoboroll Porosity Soil respiration Protozoan population 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander M (1981) Why microbial predators and parasites do not eliminate their prey and hosts. Annu Rev Microbiol 35:113–133Google Scholar
  2. Bakken LR, Olsen RA (1987) The relationship between cell size and viability of soil bacteria. Microb Ecol 13:103–114Google Scholar
  3. Bamforth SS (1985) The role of protozoa in litters and soils. J Protozool 32:404–409Google Scholar
  4. Bamforth SS (1988) Interactions between protozoa and other organisms. Agric Ecosyst Environ 24:229–234Google Scholar
  5. Bryant RJ, Woods LE, Coleman DC, Fairbanks BC, McClellan JF, Cole CV (1982) Interactions of bacterial and amoebal populations in soil microcosms with fluctuating moisture content. Appl Environ Microbiol 43:747–752Google Scholar
  6. Clarholm M (1989) Effects of plant-bacterial-amoebal interactions on plant uptake of nitrogen under field conditions. Biol Fertil Soils 8:373–378Google Scholar
  7. Clarke KR, Owens NJP (1983) A simple and versatile micro-computer program for the determination of ‘most probable number’. J Microbiol Methods 1:133–137Google Scholar
  8. Darbyshire JF, Wheatley RE, Greaves MP, Inkson RHE (1974) A rapid micromethod for estimating bacterial and protozoan populations in soil. Rev Ecol Biol Soil 11:465–475Google Scholar
  9. Darbyshire JF, Roberston L, Mackie LA (1985) A comparison of two methods of estimating the soil pore network available to protozoa. Soil Biol Biochem 17:619–624Google Scholar
  10. Darbyshire JF, Griffiths BS, Davidson MS, McHardy WJ (1989) Ciliate distribution amongst soil aggregates. Rev Ecol Biol Sol 26:47–56Google Scholar
  11. Elliott ET, Anderson RV, Cole CV (1979) The influence of amoeba on the uptake of nitrogen by plants in gnotobiotic soil. In: Harley JL, Russell RS (eds) The soil-root interface. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Elliott ET, Anderson RV, Coleman DC, Cole CV (1980) Habitable pore space and microbial trophic interactions. Oikos 35:327–335Google Scholar
  13. Elliott ET, Coleman DC, Ingham RE, Trofymow JA (1984) Carbon and energy flow through the soil subsystem of terrestrial ecosystems. In: Klug MJ, Reddy CA (eds) Current perspectives in microbial ecology. Am Soc Microbiol, pp 424–433Google Scholar
  14. Fenchel T, Harrison P (1976) The significance of bacterial grazing and mineral cycling for decomposition of particulate detritus. In: Anderson JM, MacFadyen A (eds) The role of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in decomposition processes. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 285–300Google Scholar
  15. Foster RC (1988) Microenvironments of soil microorganisms. Biol Fertil Soils 6:189–203Google Scholar
  16. Gupta VVSR, Germida JJ (1989) Influence of bacterial-amoebal interactions on sulfur transformations in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 21:921–930Google Scholar
  17. Hattori T, Hattori R (1976) The physical environment in soil microbiology: an attempt to extend principles of microbiology to soil microorganisms. Crit Rev Microbiol 4:423–461Google Scholar
  18. Heynen CE, van Elsas JD, Kuikman PJ, van Veen JA (1988) Dynamics of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar Trifoli introduced into soil: the effect of bentonite clay on predation by protozoa. Soil Biol Biochem 20:483–488Google Scholar
  19. Hissett R, Gray TRG (1976) Microsites and time changes in soil microbe ecology. In: Anderson JM, MacFayden A (eds) The role of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in decomposition processes. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 23–39Google Scholar
  20. Kilbertus G (1980) Etude des microhabitats contenus dans les agrégats du sol: Leur relation avec la biomasse bactérienne et la taille des procaryotes présents. Rev Ecol Biol Sol 17:543–557Google Scholar
  21. Kuikman PJ, van Veen JA (1989) The impact of protozoa on the availability of bacterial nitrogen to plants. Biol Fertil Soils 8:13–18Google Scholar
  22. Lousier JD, Bamforth SS (1990) Soil protozoa. In: Dindal DL (ed) Biol biology guide. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 97–136Google Scholar
  23. Page FC (1976) An illustrated key to freshwater and soil amoebae. Freshwater Biol Assoc, Sci Publ no 34, The Ferry House, Ambleside, CumbriaGoogle Scholar
  24. Papendick RI, Campbell GS (1981) Theory and measurement of water potential. In: Elliott et al. (eds) Water potential relations in soil microbiology. Am Soc Agron, Madison, Wisconsin, pp 1–22 (ASA Special Publ no 9)Google Scholar
  25. Postma J, van Veen JA (1990) Habitable pore space and survival of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar Trifolii introduced into soil. Microb Ecol 19:149–162Google Scholar
  26. Postma J, Walter S, van Veen JA (1989) Influence of different initial soil moisture content on the distribution and population dynamics of introduced Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar Trifolii. Soil Biol Biochem 21:437–442Google Scholar
  27. Sanborn P, Pawluk S (1989) Microstructure diversity in Ah horizons of Black Chernozemic soils, Alberta and British Columbia (Canada). Geoderma 45:221–240Google Scholar
  28. Vargas R, Hattori T (1986) Protozoan predation of bacterial cells in soil aggregates. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 38:233–242Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Rutherford
    • 1
  • N. G. Juma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations