Microbiological Indicators of Soil Quality Under Native Forests are Influenced by Topographic Factors


An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.




Abstract: Several microbiological indicators of soil quality present high sensitivity, but little is known about the influence of topographic factors on them. This work aimed to evaluate variability of biological indicators of soil quality across a hillslope under native forest and the influence of topographic factors on them. Four positions on a hillslope were evaluated. Activity of the enzymes β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase, urease and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis were determined, as well as basal and substrate-induced respiration, and density of microorganisms: total bacteria, total fungi, actinobacteria, phosphate solubilizers, ammonifiers, native rhizobia, free-living N2-fixing bacteria, spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and percentage of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Activity and density of microorganisms were correlated with topographic factors. The relation of these factors to the variations of the evaluated indicators was determined using the random forest algorithm. Microbiological indicators varied according to the hillslope positions. The indicators urease, basal respiration, spore density, mycorrhizal colonization, total bacteria and fungi, phosphate solubilizers, and free-living N2-fixing bacteria detected in JNFB and FAM culture medium did not vary with terrain attributes and were therefore more indicated in cases of topographic variations. This and future studies can help to select the best microbiological indicators for different conditions.

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