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Contrasting Organic Amendments Induce Different Short-Term Responses in Soil Abiotic and Biotic Properties in a Fire-Affected Native Mediterranean Forest in Chile


This study aimed to evaluate contrasting organic amendments as a strategy to promote the recovery of biotic and abiotic edaphic conditions central to the reestablishment of soil ecosystem functions at a site in south-central Chile affected by megafires in the 2016–2017 summer season. We analyzed the effects of the application of fresh (poultry and swine manure) and stabilized (compost of agricultural waste origin) organic amendments on microbial parameters, including basal respiration, microbial biomass, the carbon mineralization coefficient, and the microbial metabolic quotient, along with soil physicochemical properties related to soil fertility and stability. All organic amendments improved soil fertility and stimulated soil microbial activity. Fresh amendments, particularly swine manure, promoted the immediate recovery of the microbial conditions evaluated. However, greater mineralization rates and thus presumably shorter periods of carbon (C) source consumption were related to the application of such organic amendments. Soils treated with compost accumulated the most organic carbon and nitrogen, ensuring long-term nutrient release and thus long-term soil function recovery. Choosing the type of organic amendment to use to sustain ecosystem resilience will highly depend on the restoration goals over time.

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Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



Colony-forming unit


Electrical conductivity


Generalized linear models


Metabolic quotient


Organic carbon


Principal component analysis


Substrate-induced respiration


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The authors acknowledge the Galvez family, who permitted site access and provided historical information, and Eduardo Arellano, Pilar Fuenzalida, and Camila Bustamante for the field and laboratory assistance.


This work was supported by the Fondo de Protección Ambiental (FPA) [Project No. 6-RE-002-2018 of the Ministry of Environment], the National Research and Development Agency (ANID) of Chile [CONICYT PIA/BASAL Project FB0002], the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [grant FPI-MINECO BES-2017-081283 supporting M.G.], and the University of O’Higgins [postdoctoral fellowship program founding 2018 for C.M.].

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Correspondence to Claudia Rojas.

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García-Carmona, M., Marín, C., García-Orenes, F. et al. Contrasting Organic Amendments Induce Different Short-Term Responses in Soil Abiotic and Biotic Properties in a Fire-Affected Native Mediterranean Forest in Chile. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 21, 2105–2114 (2021).

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  • Compost
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Poultry manure
  • Swine manure
  • Wildfires