|LORENZ, TODD - University Of Missouri|
|KREMER, ROBERT - University Of Missouri|
Submitted to: Missouri Prairie Journal
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2018
Publication Date: 10/1/2018
Citation: Veum, K.S., Lorenz, T., Kremer, R.J. 2018. Microbial community structure in Missouri prairie soils. Missouri Prairie Journal. 39(3-4):18-20.
Technical Abstract: Prairie soils are known to have a highly diverse microbial community in addition to a diverse above-ground plant community. Studies have shown that prescribed burns may affect the microbial community structure and function in prairie ecosystems. However, the short term and long term effects of prescribed burns on biological soil properties are not well understood. Two reconstructed Missouri prairies with similar types of vegetation on different soils (claypan vs fragipan) were sampled prior to and immediately following a prescribed burn in 2015. Multiple soil properties, including microbial community structure, were assessed. Short-term, immediate effects of the prescribed burn were not detectable; however, overall findings confirmed that soil properties, including aggregate stability, soil organic carbon content, potential N mineralization, and soil textural/structural differences, shaped the microbiome at a broad scale along with subtle differences in past management. Native prairies and other natural ecosystems are valuable references for developing sustainable crop and soil management practices, and more research is required to examine the role of prairie management and restoration in the functional diversity of the prairie soil microbiome. In particular, short and long-term studies examining the effects of prescribed burn frequency are necessary to provide landowners with insight into the ecological function of restored and reconstructed prairies.