Factors determining soil microbial biomass and nutrient immobilization in desert soils

TitleFactors determining soil microbial biomass and nutrient immobilization in desert soils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsGallardo A, Schlesinger WH
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume28
Pagination55-68
Date Published1995
Accession NumberJRN00189
Call Number00647
Keywordsarticle, articles, biogeochemistry,carbon, biogeochemistry,nitrogen, biogeochemistry,nutrient immobilization, carbon,soil, grassland,microbial biomass, journal, journals, nitrogen,soil, nutrient,soil, playa,microbial biomass, shrubland,microbial biomass, soil,microbial biomass, soil,nutrient immobilization
Abstract

We examined the 10-day response of soil microbial biomass-N to additions of carbon (dextrose) and nitrogen (NH4NO3) to water-amended soils in a factorial experiment in four plant communities of the Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico (U.S.A.). In each site, microbial biomass-N and soil carbohydrates increased and extractable soil N decreased in response to watering alone. Fertilization with N increased microbial biomass-N in grassland soils; whereas, fertilization with C increased microbial biomass-N and decreased extractable N and P in all communities dominated by shrubs, which have invaded large areas of grassland in the Chihuahuan desert during the last 100 years. Our results support the hypothesis that the control of soil microbial biomass shifts from N to C when the ratio of C to N decreases during desertification.

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