Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 109590
Title Microbial properties and soil respiration in submontane forest of Venezuelan Guyana: characteristics and response to fertilizer treatments
Author(s) Priess, J.A.; Folster, H.
Source Soil Biology and Biochemistry 33 (2001). - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 503 - 509.
Department(s) Laboratory of Soil Science and Geology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2001
Abstract The distribution of vegetation types in Venezuelan Guyana (in the `Canaima' National Park) represents a transitional stage in a long term process of savannization, a process considered to be conditioned by a combined chemical and intermittent drought stress. All types of woody vegetation in this environment accumulate large amounts of litter and soil organic carbon (SOC). We hypothesized that this accumulation is caused by low microbial activity. During 1 year we measured microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), microbial respiration and soil respiration of stony Oxisols (Acrohumox) at a tall, a medium and a low forest and with three chemical modifications of site conditions by the addition of NO3-, Ca2 and PO43- as possible limiting elements. Due to high SOC contents, mean Cmic was 1 mg g soil-1 in the mineral topsoil and 3 mg g soil-1 in the forest floor. Mean microbial respiration in the mineral topsoil and the forest floor were 165 and 192 g CO2-C g soil-1 d-1, respectively. We calculated high mean metabolic quotients (qCO2) of 200 mg CO2-C g Cmic-1 d-1 in the litter layer and 166 mg CO2-C g Cmic-1 d-1 in the mineral topsoil, while the Cmic-to-SOC ratios were as low as 1.0 n the litter layer and 0.8 n the mineral topsoil. Annual soil respiration was 9, 12 and 10 Mg CO2-C ha-1 yr-1 in the tall, medium and low forest, respectively. CO2 production was significantly increased by CaHPO4 fertilization, but no consistent effects were caused by Ca2 and NO3-, fertilization. Our findings indicate that Cmic and microbial respiration are reduced by low nutrient concentrations and low litter and SOC quality. Reduced microbial decomposition may have contributed to SOC accumulation in these forests
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