Environmental and Ecological Engineering | Article | Published 2010

Seasonal Effect of Geomorphological Chronosequence Features on Soil Biota Dynamics

Authors:

Stanislav PEN-MOURATOV

Natalia GENZER

Josef PLAKHT

Yosef STEINBERGER

Keywords: geomorphic formation, Makhtesh Ramon, microbial biomass, nematode community, trophic group

Abstract

Numerous studies have been devoted to the physical-chemical weathering processes leading to the creation of unique soil formations having their own history that induce soil-biotic diversity. However, the extent to which unique geomorphic formations influence soil biotic seasonal variation is not clear. Our aim was to define seasonal variations of soil biota in soils of different-aged terraces of the Makhtesh Ramon anticline erosional cirque in southern Israel. The strong effect of Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon crater) erosional fluvial terrace age initiated by climatic changes during the Late PleistoceneEarly Holocene period on seasonal variations in both soil properties and the abundance and composition of soil biota were demonstrated. However, age dependence was not constant and values for observed soil properties and microbial activity were negligible between younger and older terraces for certain seasons, while free-living nematodes along with bacterial-feeding group were strongly dependent on the geomorphic features of the ages throughout the study period.

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