Fungal community structure and microbial biomass in a semi-arid environment: roles in root decomposition, root growth, and soil nitrogen dynamics

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Title: Fungal community structure and microbial biomass in a semi-arid environment: roles in root decomposition, root growth, and soil nitrogen dynamics
Author: Zhang, Qishui
Abstract: Although the roles of fiingi in ecosystems are recognized , few studies have examined the enzymatic activities of fungi during plant litter decomposition and the changes in species composition of microbial communities as they influence soil nutrient levels , root growth , and plant litter decomposition in a semi -arid or arid environment . To examine aspects of the potential linkages among plant growth , soil levels , and microbial activities in a semi -arid environment , five 40 -m transects were established in a sand shinnery -oak (Ouercus havardii Rydb . ) ecosystem in West Texas in 1993 . Along these transects , species conqx )sition of fungal communities and community -level enzymatic activities were evaluated during decomposition of fine roots of sand shinnery -oak . Soil microbial biomass and nitrogen transfonnation processes were evaluated along the transects to establish the linkages between plant density , microbially mediated processes , and nutrient availability . Temporal pattems of ectomycorrhizal colonization levels and fine root production also were estimated to integrate microbial enzymatic activities , nutrient fluxes , and root growth . In response to results obtained during the fall of 1993 and spring of 1994 , a nitrogen addition experiment was established to examine the effects of nitrogen on amount of soil microbial biomasscarbon , net nitrogen mineralization rates , fine root production and ectomycorrhizal colonization levels . To better understand the strengths of the interrelationships among root growth , nutrient fluxes and microbial enzymatic activities , conceptual models exploring the relationships were developed and evaluated using path analysis .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /21341
Date: 1996-05

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Fungal community structure and microbial biomass in a semi-arid environment: roles in root decomposition, root growth, and soil nitrogen dynamics. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /21341 .

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