The present study investigates the impact of fire (low and high severity) on soil fungal abundance and microbial efficiency in C assimilation and mineralisation in a Mediterranean maquis area of Southern Italy over 2 years after fire. In burned and control soils total and active fungal mycelium, microbial biomass C, percentage of microbial biomass C present as fungal C, metabolic quotient (qCO2) and coefficient of endogenous mineralisation (CEM) were assayed together with several chemical properties of soil (i.e. pH and contents of organic C, total and mineral N, available K, Mg, Mn and water). Fire significantly decreased the fungal mycelium, whereas it stimulated microbial growth probably through the enhancement of bacterial growth because of the increase in organic C and nutrient contents in burned plots. This shift in microbial community composition might explain the observed reduction in soil microbial efficiency of C assimilation (high qCO2) and the increase in C mineralisation rate (CEM) in the first 84 days after fire. Therefore, fire might increase CO2 input to the atmosphere not only during combustion phase but also in the post-fire period.

Impact of fire on fungal abundance and microbial efficiency in C assimilation and mineralization in a Mediterranean maquis soil

DE MARCO, ANNA;VIRZO, AMALIA
2007

Abstract

The present study investigates the impact of fire (low and high severity) on soil fungal abundance and microbial efficiency in C assimilation and mineralisation in a Mediterranean maquis area of Southern Italy over 2 years after fire. In burned and control soils total and active fungal mycelium, microbial biomass C, percentage of microbial biomass C present as fungal C, metabolic quotient (qCO2) and coefficient of endogenous mineralisation (CEM) were assayed together with several chemical properties of soil (i.e. pH and contents of organic C, total and mineral N, available K, Mg, Mn and water). Fire significantly decreased the fungal mycelium, whereas it stimulated microbial growth probably through the enhancement of bacterial growth because of the increase in organic C and nutrient contents in burned plots. This shift in microbial community composition might explain the observed reduction in soil microbial efficiency of C assimilation (high qCO2) and the increase in C mineralisation rate (CEM) in the first 84 days after fire. Therefore, fire might increase CO2 input to the atmosphere not only during combustion phase but also in the post-fire period.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/202459
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