GONZALEZ POLO Marina
Soil microbial communities respond to an environmental gradient of grazing intensity in south Patagonia Argentina
SANTIAGO, TOLEDO; PABLO L, PERI; OLGA S, CORREA; VERONICA, GARGAGLIONE; MARINA, GONZALEZ-POLO
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2021 vol. 184
Soil microorganisms communities regulate key functions in terrestrial ecosystems and contributes to the formation of stable organic matter and hence climate change mitigation. The structure, diversity and activity of soil microbial communities are influenced by the quantity and quality of organic compounds entering soils through the contribution of their root exudates and plant litter, which the microorganisms use as a substrate for biosynthesis and energy source. However, grazing effect on the soil microorganisms showed variable results dependent on the ecosystem under study. One of the main challenges of this millennium is the sustainability of agricultural production, especially in fragile soils such as those present in Patagonia. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate the responses of microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil basal respiration (SBR), the derived coefficients and the abundance of fungi and bacteria under contrasting long-term grazing intensities in an environmental gradient. The study was established in three ecological areas Mata Negra Thicket (MNT), Dry Magellanic Steppe (DMS) and Humid Magellanic Steppe (HMS) with two grazing intensities. Soil samples were taken over two years in different seasons (autumn, winter, spring and summer). Results showed that biotic and abiotic factors (temperature and precipitation), plant communities and soil characteristics modulated the microbial structure and function in ecological area. On the other hand, high grazing intensity decreased the MBC and microbial coefficient (qM). There was a seasonal and interannual dynamic in the MBC and the bacteria and fungal communities, attributed mainly to temperature and precipitation. The results indicated that the effect of grazing intensity in soil microbial communities depends largely on intrinsic characteristics of each ecological area defined by the environmental gradient.