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Seasonal variation of microbial populations and biomass in Tatachia grassland soils of Taiwan

Abstract

To investigate the seasonal variations of microbial ecology in grassland of Tatachia forest, soil properties, microbial populations, microbial biomass, and 16S rDNA clone library analysis were determined. The soil had temperatures 6.6–18.4°C, pH 3.6–5.1, total organic carbon 1.11–10.68%, total nitrogen 0.18–0.78%, and C/N ratios 3.46–20.55. Each gram of dry soil contained bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, cellulolytic, phosphate-solubilizing microbes, and nitrogen-fixing microbes 4.54 × 104 to 3.79 × 107, 3.43 × 102 to 2.17 × 105, 5.74 × 103 to 3.76 × 106, 1.97 × 103 to 1.34 × 106, 8.49 × 102 to 5.59 × 105, and 3.86 × 102 to 3.75 × 105 CFU, respectively. Each gram of soil contained 117–2,482 μg of microbial biomass carbon, 23–216 μg of microbial biomass nitrogen and 9–29 μg of DNA. The microbial populations, microbial biomass, and DNA decreased stepwise with the depth of soil, and they had low values in winter seasons. The microbial populations, microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, and DNA at the BW2 horizon were 8.42–17.84, 19.26–64.40, 16.84–61.11, and 31.03–46.26% of those at the O horizon, respectively. When analyzing 16S rDNA library, members of Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, candidate division TM1, candidate division TM7, Gammatimonadetes, and Verrucomicrobia were identified. Members of Proteobacteria (44.4%) and Acidobacteria (33.3%) dominated the clone libraries. Within the phylum Proteobacteria, α-, β-, and γ-Proteobacteria were most numerous, followed by δ-Proteobacteria.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Mr. I-Chu Chen for his helpful assistance in sampling, Miss Chia-Bei Wei for her technical assistance, and National Science Council of Taiwan for financial support (NSC 91-2621-B002-014, NSC 92-2621-B002-007, NSC 93-2621-B002-005 and NSC 94-2313-B002-090).

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Correspondence to Shang-Shyng Yang.

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Cho, ST., Tsai, SH., Ravindran, A. et al. Seasonal variation of microbial populations and biomass in Tatachia grassland soils of Taiwan. Environ Geochem Health 30, 255–272 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-007-9113-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-007-9113-1

Keywords

  • Grassland
  • Microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen
  • Microbial ecology
  • Profile
  • Seasonal variation
  • PCR
  • 16S rDNA clone library