Particle size fractionation of fungal and bacterial biomass in subalpine grassland and forest soils

  • Chiu C
  • Chen T
  • Imberger K
 et al. 
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Characterization of soil aggregates according to particle size fractions is a useful tool in process-oriented research into soil organic matter and biological properties. Substrate-induced respiration (SIR) inhibition was used to quantify microbial, fungal and bacterial biomass in particle size fractions of soils ranging from forest to grassland in a subalpine region of central Taiwan. In addition, ergosterol content was determined in the same samples to verify fungal biomass measured by SIR inhibition technique. Surface soil (0-10 cm) was fractionated into four particle size fractions: coarse sand (250-2000 μm), fine sand (53-250 μm), silt (2-53 μm) and clay (0.2-2 μm). The larger sized fractions (>250 μm and 53-250 μm) contained higher levels of fungal ergosterol than the smaller sized ones (2-53 μm and 0.2-2 μm). The largest particle size fraction (250-2000 μm) from all studied habitats showed the highest level of microbial biomass, with no clear trend in microbial biomass level among the other size fractions. SIR-calculated fungal biomass level and ergosterol converted fungal biomass content were positively correlated (r=0.71, p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bacterial
  • Ergosterol
  • Fungal
  • Respiration
  • Size fractions

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