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Ecological Research

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 431–441 | Cite as

Microbial biomass and abundance after forest fire in pine forests in Japan

  • Jhonamie A. MabuhayEmail author
  • Nobukazu Nakagoshi
  • Takao Horikoshi
Original Articles

Microbial characteristics of soil are being evaluated increasingly as sensitive indicators of soil health because of the clear relationship between microbial diversity, soil and plant quality and ecosystem sustainability. This study aimed to determine microbial carbon biomass and microbial abundance after fire to estimate the degree of damage, including the rate of recovery of micro-organisms, in each area. The study also aimed to establish relationships between microbial biomass and microbial abundance and the physico-chemical properties of the soil. The study was conducted in three different study areas in Hiroshima prefecture, one unburned area and two burnt areas (one immediately after and one 2 years after fire). anova showed a significant difference in microbial carbon biomass and microbial abundance among the study areas. Microbial carbon biomass and microbial abundance were highest in the unburned area, followed by the area burnt 2 years ago and lastly by the area studied immediately after fire. Carbon biomass was highly correlated with microbial abundance (r2 = 0.950). Carbon biomass and microbial abundance were shown to be significantly correlated to the soil’s physico-chemical properties, such as pH, moisture content, water-holding capacity and carbon : nitrogen (C : N) ratio. However, the C : N ratio was closely correlated to both carbon biomass and microbial abundance with r2 = 0.705 (P < 0.01) and r2 = 0.560 (P < 0.01), respectively.

Key words

abundance carbon biomass chloroform-fumigation extraction forest fire Hiroshima Japan 

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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jhonamie A. Mabuhay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nobukazu Nakagoshi
    • 1
  • Takao Horikoshi
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima UniversityKagamiyamaHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Arts and SciencesHiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan

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