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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369856

Title: Soil microbial community dynamics under urban turfgrass in a semiarid climate

item SAPTOKA, M - Texas Tech University
item YOUNG, J - Texas Tech University
item SLAUGHTER, L - Texas Tech University
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item Cotton, Jon

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2019
Publication Date: 11/12/2019
Citation: Saptoka, M., Young, J.R., Slaughter, L.C., Acosta Martinez, V., Cotton, J.E. 2019. Soil microbial community dynamics under urban turfgrass in a semiarid climate. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The soil microbial community is an important biological indicator of overall soil quality/health. However, little is known about the composition and biomass of soil microorganisms under turfgrass systems. Our objectives were to 1) Determine whether microbial community composition and biomass in residential soils were controlled by home age to represent a turfgrass chronosequence scenario, and 2) Evaluate the importance of turfgrass management in structuring soil microbial communities. Soil samples were obtained from 10 locations within each category: old homes (1950-1970), middle-aged homes (1971-1990), newer homes (1991-2010), newest homes (2011-present), and city managed parks in summer 2018 and 2019. Soil microbial community composition and biomass were assessed using the ester-linked fatty acid methyl ester (EL-FAME) analysis and chloroform fumigation extraction (CFE), respectively. There were no differences in total FAMEs among home ages or parks, but oldest homes contained higher proportions of Gram +, Gram – and actinobacteria. However, there were no differences in protozoa or total fungi among home age categories or parks. Soil microbial biomass was substantially different among home age categories and parks, with the oldest homes having 1.8 and 2 times more MBC than newest homes in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Management practices like irrigation, fertilization, and pesticides did not appear to influence soil microbial variation based on statistical analysis. Differences in management practices may have been masked by the wide range of home ages sampled in the study. Our results demonstrate soil microbial communities under urban landscapes are enhanced as landscapes mature regardless of specific management practices.