The patterns of soil microbial respiration and earthworm communities as influenced by soil and land-use type in selected soils of Hungary
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Szent István University, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Department of Soil Science, Páter Károly u. 1, 2100, Gödöllő, Hungary
Submission date: 2019-08-21
Acceptance date: 2020-04-16
Online publication date: 2020-06-03
Publication date: 2020-06-03
Soil Sci. Ann., 2020, 71(2), 139-148
The objective of this study was to determine patterns of soil microbial respiration (SMR) and earthworm communities in selected mollic (Chernozems and Phaeozems) and non-mollic (Luvisols and Arenosols) soils of Hungary, across three land-use types (grassland, arable land, and forest). Soil samples, to a depth of 25 cm, were collected from the surrounding areas of seven soil profiles. Soil microbial respiration, measured by basal respiration method, was significantly higher in mollic soils compared to non-mollic soils, with highest values in Chernozem soils and lowest in Arenosols. The mean basal respiration did not show significant difference between land-use types within mollic diagnostic category (p > 0.05), but it differed within non-mollic category (p< 0.05). We found available Ca2+ (r = 0.80), soil moisture content (MC) (r = 0.72), and Mg2+ (r = 0.69) to be strongly correlated with SMR. SMR was significantly higher in fine textured soils compared to coarser textured soils. The earthworm biomass and abundance varied significantly across soil and land-use types, however, explicit correlations with any of soil property measured was not observed. A total of five earthworm species were identified, i.e. Aporrectodea caliginosa, Octolasion lacteum, Aporrectodea rosea, Proctodrilus opisthoductus, and Aporrectodea georgii. Earthworm abundance, biomass, and species richness tend to be highest in grassland and lowest in arable land. Generally, in our study, available Ca2+, Mg2+, MC, and texture were the key drivers of the variation in SMR, whereas the earthworm communities were probably more influenced by agricultural activities related to tillage.
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