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Shifts In The Structure Of Soil Microbial Communities In Limed Forests As Revealed By Phospholipid Fatty Acid Analysis

Å. Frostegård, E. Bååth, A. Tunlio
Published 1993 · Biology

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Abstract The effects of lime and wood-ash on the microbial community structure were evaluated by analyzing the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) composition of soils from two areas in the south of Sweden. A pine forest was amended with lime or ash at two concentrations, and a spruce forest was limed at one concentration. The treatments were carried out 5–6 years before sampling and raised the pH from approx. 4.0 to values between 4.8 and 7.0. At both sites there was a difference in the PLFA composition between the treated plots and the controls. The changes found were similar at both sites and correlated to the pH changes. No difference was found between limed plots and those treated with wood-ash. The methyl-branched fatty acids i15:0, i16:0 and 10Me16:0, the monounsaturated fatty acids 16: 1ω 7t and 18: 1ω 9, the cyclopropane fatty acid cy 19:0, and the saturated fatty acid 20:0 were more abundant in the control plots. In the plots with the highest pH there was a three-fold increase in the fatty acid 16: lω 5. An increase was also found for the fatty acids i14:0, 16:lω9, 16:lω 7c, cy17:0, 18:lω 7 and 10Me18:0. No effect on 18:2ω6 was found. The changes in PLFA pattern indicated that the increased pH caused a shift in the bacterial community to more Gram-negative and fewer Gram-positive bacteria, while the amount of fungi was unaffected. The increase in 10Me18:0 in limed soils indicated an increase in actinomycetes.
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