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Dehydrogenase activity in Mediterranean forest soils

AuthorsQuilchano, Consuelo; Marañón, Teodoro
KeywordsSoil enzyme activity
Dehydrogenase activity
Shrub-clearing practices
Mediterranean forest
Quercus suber
Issue Date2002
CitationBiology and Fertility of Soils 35(2): 102-107 (2002)
AbstractThe dehydrogenase activity (DHA) in the upper 10 cm of forest soils was measured in three experimental plots (1 ha) in Los Alcornocales Natural Park (southern Spain). In each plot, a silviculture treatment of thinning and shrub-clearing had been previously carried out in one half, while the other half was left as a forest control. Soil samples were taken during the dry season (July 2000) and after the first autumn rains (October 2000). The DHA of forest soil in autumn [527+/-165 nmol p-iodonitrotetrazolium formazan (INTF) g(-1) h(-1)] was almost double that in summer (289+/-95 nmol INTF g(-1) h(-1)), for one of the studied plots. During the dry season, DHA of forest control soils (324+/-85 nmol INTF g(-1) h(-1)) was higher than in the thinned and shrub-cleared forest (253+/-93 nmol INTF g(-1) h(-1)). During the autumn (wet season), however, the effects of the silvicultural practices on the soil dehydrogenase were negligible. Significant differences in DHA were found between the three sites. Multiple regression analysis identified pH as the best predictor of DHA of these soils. Other soil properties (pH, K, Ca, Mg, and soil moisture) also showed significant correlations with DHA. In addition, clay content appeared to enhance the enzyme activity. Our results suggest that thinning and shrub-clearing in Mediterranean forests seem to affect negatively the soil DHA, and their impact is more marked during the dry season. However, season and site effects are better determinants of DHA than management practices.
Description6 pages, 2 figures, 4 tables, 31 references. We thank Luis V. Garcia, Eduardo Gutierrez and Malole Diaz-Villa for their field assistance, and Juan Arroyo for advice on the plot design. We also thank Felipe Oliveros (director) and the staff of Los Alcornocales Natural Park for their support and cooperation in setting up the experimental plots. Personnel of TRAGSA conducted the sylvicultural practices. Rafael López and the Soil Laboratory staff at the IRNAS made chemical analyses of soil samples.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00374-002-0446-8
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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