Microbial quality of soil from the Pampa biome in response to different grazing pressures


Genet. Mol. Biol.




The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different grazing pressures on the activity and diversity of soil bacteria. We performed a long-term experiment in Eldorado do Sul, southern Brazil, that assessed three levels of grazing pressure: high pressure (HP), with 4% herbage allowance (HA), moderate pressure (MP), with 12% HA, and low pressure (LP), with 16% HA. Two reference areas were also assessed, one of never-grazed native vegetation (NG) and another of regenerated vegetation after two years of grazing (RG). Soil samples were evaluated for microbial biomass and enzymatic (β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase and urease) activities. The structure of the bacterial community and the population of diazotrophic bacteria were evaluated by RFLP of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes, respectively. The diversity of diazotrophic bacteria was assessed by partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene. The presence of grazing animals increased soil microbial biomass in MP and HP. The structures of the bacterial community and the populations of diazotrophic bacteria were altered by the different grazing managements, with a greater diversity of diazotrophic bacteria in the LP treatment. Based on the characteristics evaluated, the MP treatment was the most appropriate for animal production and conservation of the Pampa biome.

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