Soil Amendment Effects on Degraded Soils and Consequences for Plant Growth and Soil Microbial Communities

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/556614
Title:
Soil Amendment Effects on Degraded Soils and Consequences for Plant Growth and Soil Microbial Communities
Author:
Gebhardt, Martha Mary
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Human activities that disrupt soil properties are fundamentally changing ecosystems. Soil degradation decreases microbial abundance and activity, leading to changes in nutrient availability, soil organic matter, and plant growth and establishment. Land use and land cover change are widespread and increasing in semiarid regions of the southwestern US, which results in reductions of native plant and microbial abundance and community diversity. Here we studied the effects of soil degradation and amendments (biochar and woodchips) on microbial activity, soil carbon and nitrogen availability, and plant growth of ten semi-arid plants species native to the southwestern US. Results show that woodchip amendments result in poor overall plant growth, while biochar amended soils promoted plant growth when soil quality was reduced. Additionally, amendments had a strong influence on microbial activity, while the presence and species identity of plants did not. Biochar amended soils led to increases in the potential activities of enzymes involved in the degradation of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus rich substrates. Woodchips, caused an increase of potential activity in enzymes involved in the degradation of sugar and proteins. These results show that microbes and plants respond differently to soil treatments and suggest that microbial responses may function as earlier indicators of the success of re-vegetation attempts.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
Extracellular Enzymes; Microbial Communities; Nutrients; Plant Responses; Sterilization; Natural Resources; Amendments
Degree Name:
M.S.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Natural Resources
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gallery, Rachel E.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleSoil Amendment Effects on Degraded Soils and Consequences for Plant Growth and Soil Microbial Communitiesen_US
dc.creatorGebhardt, Martha Maryen
dc.contributor.authorGebhardt, Martha Maryen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractHuman activities that disrupt soil properties are fundamentally changing ecosystems. Soil degradation decreases microbial abundance and activity, leading to changes in nutrient availability, soil organic matter, and plant growth and establishment. Land use and land cover change are widespread and increasing in semiarid regions of the southwestern US, which results in reductions of native plant and microbial abundance and community diversity. Here we studied the effects of soil degradation and amendments (biochar and woodchips) on microbial activity, soil carbon and nitrogen availability, and plant growth of ten semi-arid plants species native to the southwestern US. Results show that woodchip amendments result in poor overall plant growth, while biochar amended soils promoted plant growth when soil quality was reduced. Additionally, amendments had a strong influence on microbial activity, while the presence and species identity of plants did not. Biochar amended soils led to increases in the potential activities of enzymes involved in the degradation of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus rich substrates. Woodchips, caused an increase of potential activity in enzymes involved in the degradation of sugar and proteins. These results show that microbes and plants respond differently to soil treatments and suggest that microbial responses may function as earlier indicators of the success of re-vegetation attempts.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectExtracellular Enzymesen
dc.subjectMicrobial Communitiesen
dc.subjectNutrientsen
dc.subjectPlant Responsesen
dc.subjectSterilizationen
dc.subjectNatural Resourcesen
dc.subjectAmendmentsen
thesis.degree.nameM.S.en
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineNatural Resourcesen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorGallery, Rachel E.en
dc.contributor.committeememberGallery, Rachel E.en
dc.contributor.committeememberFehmi, Jeffreyen
dc.contributor.committeememberRasmussen, Craigen
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