Plant and Soil

, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 39–47 | Cite as

Soil mcirobial biomass estimates using 2450 MHz microwave irradiation

  • Charles W. Hendricks
  • Nanci Pascoe
Article

Abstract

The effect of microwave irradiation on two soils of different carbon content was evaluated with the intent of investigating the potential of using this treatment to estimate of soil biomass. After irradiation for various time intervals, the soil was incubated at 25±0.1°C for 10 days. The amount of CO2−C produced with the two different soils remained constant, and little or no difference was observed for microwave treatment ranging from 1–20 min (4.2×104−8.5×105J). When the CO2−C results of this study were used to calculate biomass-C estimates, the Sierra and Garden soils were 29.5±3.0 and 26.9±3.9 mgC 100g−1 dry soil, respectively. This compared with values of 35.8±0.7 and 28.8±1.2 mgC 100g−1 dry soil obtained by chloroform fumigation. These results indicate that, for the soils tested, a sufficient number of microorganisms survived microwave irradiation to metabolize nutrients released from killed cells during the controlled heating process. This approach appears to provide biomass estimates comparable to chloroform procedure without the use of fumigants.

Key words

biomass determination chloroform fumigation CO2 measurement direct cell counts microwave irradiation soil microorganisms 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Hendricks
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nanci Pascoe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Research LaboratoryU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forest ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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