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Variations in the size of the soil biomass

Variations in the size of the soil biomass

Soil Biology & Biochemistry 12(6): 547-550

In the surface 5 cm of a clay soil in 2 successive years the microbial biomass, as measured by a fumigation-respiration technique, was constant. The biomasses in 2 clay soils were approximately 10 times greater than that in a silt loam. When straw from a preceding [barley] crop was chopped and left on the soil surface the biomass after 8 mo. was greater by a factor of 2 than that in soil where the straw had been burned. Where soil had been kept in grass for 9 yr, the biomass was greater by a factor of 3 than that in soil of the same kind that had been in arable cultivation for the previous 4 yr. As the fumigation-respiration technique measured only the microbial and microfaunal contribution to the biomass, the total biomass can only be assessed by measuring the root contribution separately; when this was done the total biomass in the grassland was greater by a factor of about 6.

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Accession: 001030780

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DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(80)90033-4

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