Evolution of organic carbon pools and microbial diversity in hyperarid anthropogenic soils

Carmelo Dazzi, Arturo Fabiani, Stefano Mocali, Maria Teresa Dell'Abate, Benedetta Camilli

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the organic carbon pools and the microbial diversity and activity in anthropogenicterraced soils in a desert area of Southern Peru to highlight how the introduction of agriculture influencescarbon evolution and storage and genetic and functional diversity of soil microbiota over time.Five sites were selected considering soils cultivated since 5, 15, 20, 35 and 65 years, sampled along theprofile depth (0e20 and 20e40 cm layer). Soil and microbial parameters comprised by organic carbonpools, microbial respiration, microbial community physiological profile (CLPP) and microbial diversity(PCR-DGGE) were determined. The results showed that the highest C concentrations were reached after along cultivation time (P65), at both depths. In this site Corg was mainly composed by chemically notextractable C, considered the most stabilized fraction. The remaining extractable C fraction decreasedwith the depth and was mainly made up of highly mineralizable compounds. Data showed that humantransformations has affected organic carbon pools only after several decades of cultivation, whereas theactivity and structure of the microbial community changed gradually over time, showing the majordifferences between the most ancient (65 years) and the most recent (5 years) anthropized soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-331
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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