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01.05.2013 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2013

Environmental Earth Sciences 1/2013

The effect of long-term reclamation on enzyme activities and microbial community structure of saline soil at Shangyu, China

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 1/2013
Autoren:
Chen Liu, JianMing Xu, NengFei Ding, QingLin Fu, Bin Guo, YiCheng Lin, Hua Li, Ningyu Li

Abstract

Reclamation of saline soil plays an important role in supporting high population growth in China. To evaluate the effects of reclamation and sustainability of salt-affected land production, soil chemical properties, enzyme activities, microbial community structure and function in sites reclaimed in 1976, 1984 and 1996 were characterized. The 2009 site was left to succession fallow and chosen as a control site. Results showed that electrical conductivity (EC) and pH decreased rapidly after the soil forming process started. An accumulation of soil organic C as a result of farming was observed. In all sites, inorganic N and available P were increased within 33 years after reclamation and commencement of agriculture. As a result of reclamation, soil enzyme activity (β-glucosidase, phosphatase, urease and arylsulfatase) was increased. There were no significant differences in soil enzyme activity between the sites reclaimed in 1976 and 1984, with the exception of phosphatase. Carbon source utilization patterns were less diverse in control soil than in treatment sites. The activities of reclamation resulted in synthesis of new phospholipid fatty acids (14:0, 17:1 c9, 16:0 2OH, 17:0 10Me, i17:0, 20:4 ω6c). Principal component analyses showed that the sites reclaimed in 1976 and 1984 clustered together and were distinct from 1996. Taken together, reclamation showed significantly increased soil quality and microbial activity. EC was the main limiting soil quality characteristic, which showed a comparative steady state after a reclamation time of 33 years. Differences in soil enzyme activity and microbial community function after long-term reclamation have potential to be reflected in soil functional integrity and ecosystem service.

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