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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230163

Title: Changes in Soil Microbial Community Structure with Flooding

item Kennedy, Ann

Submitted to: Applied Soil Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2008
Publication Date: 1/13/2009
Citation: Unger, I.M., Kennedy, A.C., Muzika, R. 2009. Changes in Soil Microbial Community Structure with Flooding. Applied Soil Ecology. 42:1-8. 2009.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Flooding disturbs both above- and below-ground ecosystem processes. Although often ignored, changes in below-ground environments are no less important than those that occur above-ground. Shifts in soil microbial community structure are expected when anaerobic conditions develop from flooding. The primary objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of various flood treatments on soil microbial community structure. Simulated flood experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions and field conditions. Soils used for these experiments were generally classified as Nodaway silt loam, occasionally flooded (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, nonacid, mesic Mollic Udifluvents). The soil microbial communities (greenhouse vs. field) varied in composition and in response to flood disturbances. Greenhouse flood treatments resulted in reduced biomass and microbial responses; other studies have shown similar responses. The decreased presence of fungi under flooded conditions is consistent with the hypothesis that fungi are less prevalent in inundated soils. This study revealed increases in stress indicators with flooding in the greenhouse. Field soil samples revealed the importance of sampling date and depth. The microbial communities of the two experiments varied in their relationship with soil chemistry. This study illustrates the heterogeneous nature of the soil ecosystem and the impact that flooding can have on the soil biota.