International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 2 Issue 4 2012           Pages:2272- 2284

Quantifying the contribution of different soil properties on microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous in dry tropical ecosystem

Author Information:

Monty Kujur  School of Life Sciences, Sambalpur University At/po- Jyoti Vihar, Burla; Dist- Sambalpur, Odisha, India

Amiya Kumar Patel  School of Life Sciences, Sambalpur University At/po- Jyoti Vihar, Burla; Dist- Sambalpur, Odisha, India


The variations in microbial biomass C (MB-C), N (MB-N) and P (MB-P) among seven different tropical soils (fresh mine, 6yr old mine, degraded wasteland, grassland, pesticide-treated, agricultural and forest soil) of Jharkhand, India were studied. The clay percentage, water holding capacity, moisture, organic carbon, total nitrogen and available phosphorous were comparatively higher in forest soil as compared to agricultural, grassland, degraded wasteland and fresh mine soil. Across different study sites, MB-C, MB-N, and MB-P at 0-15 cm soil depth varied from 55.586 ± 3.383 to 646.703 ± 18.215; 4.833 ± 0.224 to 67.993 ± 2.335, and 2.416 ± 0.366 to 29.366 ± 0.665 µg.g-1 dry soil respectively. In the present study, the relationship between soil physico-chemical properties and microbial C, N and P in Indian dry tropical ecosystems were discussed. Across the sites, the MBC (r = 0.985; p<0.01); MB-N (r = 0.990; p<0.01) and MB-P (r = 0.977; p<0.01) were positively correlated with organic carbon. The proportion of soil organic carbon contained in the microbial biomass ranged from 2.6 to 3.9%. The microbial C:N ratio in these soils ranged from 8.72 to 11.63, and the microbial C:P ratio from 18.77 to 23. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the degree of influence contributed by different physico-chemical properties on the variability of microbial C, N and P across the sites. Further, principal component analysis was performed, which can able to discriminate these seven sites into independent clusters on the basis of physico-chemical properties and microbial biomass. The change in microbial biomass correlated very well with land degradation, deforestation, caused the alternation of soil properties led to reduction in soil nutrients and microbial C, N and P in the soils of disturbed sites as compared to undisturbed forest ecosystems, which can serve as a useful indicator of soil status. 

Key words: Soil, organic carbon, physico-chemical properties, microbial biomass

DOI: 10.6088/ijes.00202030109

© 2012 Copyright Monty Kujur and Amiya Kumar Patel, licensee IPA.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (2.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The electronic version of the article can be downloaded below.

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