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Type: Journal article
Title: Impact of total water potential and varying contribution of matric and osmotic potential on carbon mineralization in saline soils
Author: Setia, R.
Marschner, P.
Citation: European Journal of Soil Biology, 2013; 56:95-100
Publisher: Gauthier-Villars/Editions Elsevier
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1164-5563
Statement of
Raj Setia, Petra Marschner
Abstract: In saline soils, microbial activity may be reduced by low matric (low water content) and low osmotic potential (presence of salts) but little is known about the impact of the relative contribution of matric and osmotic potential to water potential (sum of matric and osmotic potential) on microbial activity and biomass. A laboratory incubation experiment was conducted using a non-saline sandy loam; different osmotic potentials (-0.30 to -3.24 MPa) were achieved by adding different amounts of NaCl. After pre-incubation for 14 days, subsamples of these treatments were dried to achieve different contributions of matric potential (8-73%) and osmotic potential (27-92%) to water potential which ranged between -0.57 and -4.57 MPa. All treatments were amended with 20 g kg-1 pea residues to increase nutrient supply; carbon dioxide (CO2) emission was measured over 14 days. Microbial biomass C and K2SO4-extractable C were measured at the end of the experiment. Cumulative CO2-C (mg g-1 soil) was significantly (p < 0.05) lower at water potential -4 MPa than at water potential -1.5 MPa. Above water potential -4 MPa, cumulative CO2-C significantly decreased with increasing percentage contribution of osmotic potential to water potential, particularly if the contribution of osmotic potential was >50%. In contrast, K2SO4-extractable C and microbial biomass C were little affected by water potential above -4 MPa. Only at water potential -4 MPa, cumulative CO2-C and microbial biomass C were affected by matric potential and its contribution to water potential; that is when the soils are very dry. Our results show that cumulative CO2-C was more sensitive to decreasing water potential or the contributions of osmotic and matric potential than microbial biomass C. This suggests that not only water potential but also the contribution of osmotic and matric potential should be taken into account to understand microbial activity and growth in saline soils. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.
Keywords: Matric potential
microbial biomass
osmotic potential
water potential
Rights: 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2013.02.003
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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