Soil nitrogen availability is reflected in the bacterial pathway
Item TypeJournal Article
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Measurements of concentrations of easily extractable soil nitrogen (N) were carried out on samples collected at the Heron Wood Reserve, Scotland, concurrently with investigations of N associated with total microbial biomass and the abundances of bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates. Soil biota at the studied site appeared to be limited by N. There was a remarkable difference between the ambient (i.e., easily extractable N) and biomass nitrogen. The abundance data of bacteria, protozoa and nematodes significantly negatively correlated with ambient N but showed positive correlations with the total microbial N content. There were, however, remarkable differences between the correlation patterns exhibited by the fungal and the bacterial pathways, as fungi did not show any correlations with chemical variables. These differences should be taken into account whilst interpreting biological interactions both at this important site and elsewhere.