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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of salinity on microbial tolerance to drying and rewetting
Author: Baumann, K.
Marschner, P.
Citation: Biogeochemistry: an international journal, 2013; 112(1):71-80
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publ
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0168-2563
Statement of
Karen Baumann, Petra Marschner
Abstract: Soil salinity and fluctuations in soil matric potential are stressors for soil microorganisms which, in turn, may affect soil organic matter turnover. In response to salinity and low soil water content, many microorganisms accumulate osmolytes. Therefore, it is conceivable that microorganisms in saline soils are more tolerant to drying and rewetting (DRW) stress than those in non-saline soils. An experiment was carried out with three different salinity levels: electrical conductivity (EC1:5) 0, 2 and 4 dS m−1 (EC0, EC2, EC4), and two water treatments: a constantly moist control or two DRW cycles. Respiration as an indicator of microbial activity was measured throughout the 59 days of incubation. At the end of the second dry period (day 35) and at the end of the following moist incubation (day 59), microbial biomass and microbial community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Increasing salinity decreased microbial activity but did not affect its resistance to DRW. On day 59, cumulative respiration decreased in the order EC0 > EC2 > EC4 with no differences between water treatments. Fungal biomass was negatively affected by salinity at the end of the experiment, while bacterial biomass was unaffected. Microbial community structure in moist treatments differed between salinity levels, with EC4 influencing microbial community structure earlier than EC2. The resistance of microbial communities to DRW stress was salt level dependent; only beyond a critical salinity level adaptation to salt stress was able to reduce the impact of water stress on microbial community structure.
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
DOI: 10.1007/s10533-011-9672-1
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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