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Spatial And Temporal Patterns In Soil Organic Carbon, Microbial Biomass And Activity Under Different Land-use Types In A Long-term Soil-monitoring Network

Peter Woloszczyk, Claudia Fiencke, D. Elsner, Eckhard Cordsen, Eva-Maria Pfeiffer
Published 2020 · Environmental Science

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Abstract Preservation of soil organic carbon (SOC) requires knowledge concerning the quantity and quality of both the SOC and the SOC-decomposing microbial community. In northern Germany, this information is assessed as part of Schleswig-Holstein’s long-term soil-monitoring programme, in which topsoils have been analysed since 1995. In this study, we evaluated long-term data from Schleswig-Holstein’s monitoring sites and compared the content of SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) among croplands, grasslands and forests. We distinguished the microbial fractions as total MBC (chloroform fumigation extraction method) and glucose-responsive MBC, and we used the MBC/SOC ratio and soil basal respiration (SBR) to obtain a qualitative view of the SOC and its turnover potential. Additionally, we performed a temporal comparison for SOC and MBC between the periods 1995–2002 and 2005–2015. The results showed that median SOC content is the highest in forest soils (41 g kg−1), followed by grasslands (33 g kg−1), and croplands (12 g kg−1). Different ascending orders occurred for the total MBC (cropland
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