Biomass and catabolic diversity of microbial communities with long-term restoration, bare fallow and cropping history in Chinese Mollisols Academic Article uri icon


  • Microbial biomass and community catabolic diversities at three depths (0−10 cm, 20−30 cm, and 40−50 cm) in Chinese Mollisols as influenced by long-term managements of natural restoration, cropping and bare fallow were investigated. Microbial biomass was estimated from chloroform fumigation-extraction and substrate-induced respiration (SIR), and catabolic diversity was determined by using Biolog® EcoPlate. Experimental results showed that microbial biomass significantly declined with soil depth in the treatments of restoration and cropping, and not in the treatment of bare fallow, where the microbial biomass had a positive relationship with the total soil C content. The inspections into the catabolic capability of the microbial community at the same soil depth showed that the treatment of natural restoration had a relatively stronger metabolic ability than the cropping and bare fallow treatments. Shannon”s diversity index, substrate richness and substrate evenness calculated from the Biolog data were higher in the treatments of natural restoration and cropping than the bare fallow treatment with the same soil depth, and with the highest values in the top soil. Principal component analysis indicated that the catabolic profiles not only varied with the soil depth in each treatment, but also differed in the three treatments within the same soil depth. The catabolic profiles of the three treatments were similar to each other in the soil depth of 0−10 cm and distinctly different in the soil depths of 20−30 cm and 40−50 cm. These results suggest that it was microbial biomass rather than community function that was influenced by the different soil management in the topsoil (0−10 cm); in the relative depths, the soil microbial community function was more easily influenced than microbial biomass.


  • Wang, G
  • Jin, J
  • Chen, X
  • Liu, J
  • Liu, X
  • Herbert, SJ

publication date

  • January 7, 2008