Effect of heavy metals on soil microbial activity and diversity in a reclaimed mining wasteland of red soil area

LIAO Min , CHEN Cheng-li , HUANG Chang-yong


Received ,Revised , Accepted , Available online

Volume 17,2005,Pages 832-837

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The microbial biomass, basal respiration and substrate utilization pattern in copper mining wasteland of red soil area, southern China, were investigated. The results indicated that soil microflora were obviously different compared with that of the non-mine soil.Microbial biomass and basal respiration were negatively affected by the elevated heavy metal levels. Two important microbial ecophysiological parameters, namely, the ratio of microbial biomass C( Cmic )/organic C( Corg ) and metabolic quotient(qCO2 ) were closely correlated to heavy metal stress. There was a significant decrease in the Cmic/Corg ratio and an increase in the metabolic quotient with increasing metal concentration. Multivariate analysis of Biolog data for sole carbon source utilization pattern demonstrated that heavy metal pollution had a significant impact on microbial community structure and functional diversity. All the results showed that soil microbiological parameters had great potential to become the early sensitive, effective and liable indicators of the stresses or perturbations in soils of mining ecosystems.

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