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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369847

Research Project: Optimizing Water Use Efficiency for Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Linkages between the microbial component and organic matter pools in semiarid-sandy soils

item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item BURKE, JOSEPH - Texas A&M University
item LEWIS, K - Texas Tech University
item Mikha, Maysoon
item Perez-Guzman, Lumarie
item LI, CHENJUI - University Of Missouri
item MOORE-KUCERA, J - American Farmland Trust
item FULTZ, L - Louisiana State University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2019
Publication Date: 11/12/2019
Citation: Acosta Martinez, V., Burke, J., Lewis, K., Mikha, M.M., Perez-Guzman, L., Li, C., Moore-Kucera, J., Fultz, L. 2019. Linkages between the microbial component and organic matter pools in semiarid-sandy soils. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Two well recognized indicators of soil health are soil organic matter (SOM) and the microbial community (MC). Both are linked to essential soil functions related to decomposition processes, nutrient cycling, soil structure, soil detoxification, productivity and erosion control. However, there is still no consensus on the SOM pools in relation to MC as influenced by management that affect soil health and functions. If these types of relationships can be made on sandy soils with low SOM, we could identify the low limits of sensitivity across methods. The goal of this presentation is to discuss linkages found between different microbial characteristics (size, composition and activity) and SOM pools (Permanganate oxidizable C, POXC; and particulate organic matter, POM) in order to make connections that are helpful for soil health assessments. We used sandy soils with very low SOM (< 1%) from a semiarid region under different management systems that are transitioning from irrigation to dryland production. We also included soils that have experienced climatic variability (e.g., extreme droughts, heat waves or record precipitation) from 2011 to 2018. Preliminary results showed positive correlations of POXC with the MC in terms of abundance (via microbial biomass C and total Fatty Acid Methyl Esters, FAMEs), composition (via markers for bacteria and fungi) and enzyme activities of C cycling (ß-glucosidase involved in cellulose degradation, and ß-glucosaminidase, involved in chitin degradation). Our study may expand our understanding of the source of these SOM pools (POXC and POM) and their relation to MC in sandy soils.