Effects of plant post-fire persistence traits on soil microbial biomass and activity in Mediterranean shrublands

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Title: Effects of plant post-fire persistence traits on soil microbial biomass and activity in Mediterranean shrublands
Authors: López-Poma, Rosario | Bautista, Susana
Research Group/s: Gestión de Ecosistemas y de la Biodiversidad (GEB)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología
Keywords: Dehydrogenase activity | Microbial biomass | Resprouter species | Seeder species | Soil basal respiration | Water soluble carbon
Knowledge Area: Ecología
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: FUEGORED
Citation: FLAMMA. 2014, 5(1): 52-55
Abstract: The strong relationships between plant and soil microbial communities suggest that post-fire vegetation may be a critical driver of the post-fire recovery of the structure and functioning of the soil microbial community. In this study, we conducted an experimental burning and evaluated the effect of the post-fire persistence traits of the vegetation (resprouter and seeder) on the medium-term (3 years after fire) post-fire response of the soil microbial activity in Mediterranean shrublands. The experiment was carried out in a Mediterranean shrubland (Eastern Spain), where four main types of microsites were selected: Bare-soil inter-patch (BS); Resprouter patch (R), Seeder patch (S), and Mixed patch (R+S). For each microsite, we analyzed soil basal respiration, water-soluble carbon, microbial biomass carbon, total organic carbon, and dehydrogenase activity at 0-5 cm soil depth. We also assessed plant cover dynamics. Our results suggest that, in general, fire impacts on soil microbial activity are not long-lasting, with most assessed soil variables being similar between burned and unburned areas three years after the fire. However, while the unburned microsites showed a trend in microbial biomass and activity from lower values in bare soils to higher values in R+S patches, these differences disappeared in the burned area, due to both a slight increase in microbial activity and biomass in bare soils, and the opposite response for soils under R+S patches. Our results highlight the role of the plant persistence trait in the microbial post-fire response of Mediterranean soils.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/72535
ISSN: 2171-665X
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://sites.google.com/site/flammafgr/texto/volumen-5-2014/5-1-2014/5-1-13
Appears in Collections:INV - GEB - Artículos de Revistas

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