Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 9 No. 3

Microbiological Pools of Soil Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus under Exotic Tree Plantations in the Degraded Grasslands of Iran

Ebrahim Fataei1*, Saeid Varamesh2 and Seiied Taghi Seiied Safavian2

1Department of Environmental sciences, Ardabil Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil, Iran. 2Young Researchers and Elite Club, Ardabil Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ardabil, Iran.

Received on 23 April 2015 and accepted on 04 July 2015

 

ABSTRACT

The aim of current research is to evaluate soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus pools, and selected physico-chemical soil properties in a plantation area with 20-year-old exotic tree (Picea abies and Pinus nigra) species. The study area is degraded grassland of Fandogloo Region, Ardabil Province, Iran. Soil samples were collected at three depths such as 0–15cm, 15–30cm, 20–30cm, and 30–50 cm, and characterized with respect to bulk density, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, texture, organic carbon, total nitrogen, and available phosphorous. The results showed that afforested stands significantly affected on soil characteristics due to piles of soil microbiology. The soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) and available phosphorus (P) were significantly different among the various stands and depths. The minimum amount of soil carbon sequestration in the degraded grassland was 21.40 Mg ha-1, which had significantly different from afforested stands. The Pinus nigra had high significant difference in the amount of TN (2.52 Mg ha-1) from the other stands and degraded grassland (1.75Mg ha-1). The amount of available phosphorus of forest stands compared to degraded grassland did not show a significant increase, while a significant decrease of phosphorus was seen in the mixed Picea abies - Pinus nigra stand (42.07 kg ha-1) than the degraded grassland (49.27 kg ha-1 ). The soil surface layer (0-15 cm) had the minimum SOC, TN, and P than the other lower layers which it could be due to high consumption rate in the primary stages of growth to develop biomass. There was a significant positive correlation between the SOC and TN in the all afforested stands. In general, the afforestation with exotic coniferous species in the degraded grassland improved the SOC and TN, but available phosphorus was no significant increase, meanwhile, it shows a decreasing trend in the study area. Finally, this study illustrated that afforestation with exotic coniferous species in degraded grasslands have a positive impact on surface soil properties and the planting of these species might be useful in soil reclamation projects in the semi-humid regions.

Keywords : Carbon Sequestration, exotic coniferous, Microbiological stocks, Fandoghloo Region.