There is uncertainty and limited knowledge regarding soil microbial properties and organic matter fractions of natural secondary forest accompanying chemical environmental changes of replacement by pure alien plantation forests in a hilly area of southwest of Sichuan province China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of natural secondary forest (NSF) to pure Cryptomeria fortunei forest (CFF) and Cunninghamia lanceolata forest (CLF) on soil organic fractions and microbial communities. The results showed that the soil total phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), total bacteria and fungi, microbial carbon pool, organic recalcitrant carbon (C) and (N) fractions, soil microbial quotient and labile and recalcitrant C use efficiencies in each pure plantation were significantly decreased, but their microbial N pool, labile C and N pools, soil carbon dioxide efflux, soil respiratory quotient and recalcitrant N use efficiency were increased. An RDA analysis revealed that soil total PLFAs, total bacteria and fungi and total Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were significantly associated with exchangeable Al3+, exchangeable acid, Al3+, available P and Mg2+ and pH, which resulted into microbial functional changes of soil labile and recalcitrant substrate use efficiencies. Modified microbial C- and N-use efficiency due to forest conversion ultimately meets those of rapidly growing trees in plantation forests. Enlarged soil labile fractions and soil respiratory quotients in plantation forests would be a potential positive effect for C source in the future forest management. Altogether, pure plantation practices could provoke regulatory networks and functions of soil microbes and enzyme activities, consequently leading to differentiated utilization of soil organic matter fractions accompanying the change in environmental factors.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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