The soil microbiota, a key component of natural ecosystems, is considered as a factor determining the stability of meadow communities. The diversity and abundance of the main ecologically significant groups of microorganisms in meadow soils have been studied along a gradient of long-term soil pollution with heavy metals in the Middle Urals. The results provide evidence for stability of the microbial assemblage formed in these soils. It has been found that the functional activity of certain physiological groups of microorganisms (nitrogen-fixing, denitrifying, and cellulolytic bacteria) and the respiratory activity of microbial communities are stimulated under conditions of heavy-metal soil pollution. Probable effects of the observed changes on mineralization of plant remains in meadow communities are discussed.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 5, 2014
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