Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Active fractions of soil organic matter are important in plant-available nutrient supply through mineralization/immobilization turnover, decomposition of natural and synthetic organic amendments, and biophysical manipulation of soil structure. These important attributes associated with biologically active soil components contribute to an assessment of soil quality. Assessment of soil quality will become more meaningful to land managers if they are not overwhelmed with the multitude of soil properties that have been suggested as important. We observed that short-term C mineralization was highly related to microbial biomass C and potentially mineralizable C and N in various soils from Texas, Georgia, Alberta, and British Columbia. Relationships of short-term C mineralization with other more passive organic C and N pools were also observed. Short-term C mineralization during a 1 to 3-d period following rewetting of dried soil provides a simple, rapid, and meaningful estimate of potential biological activity in soil that could be combined with other soil physical and chemical properties to assess soil quality under various management scenarios.