Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (5): 454-465.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.05.003

• Forest Ecosystem • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Forest Types and Environmental Factors on Soil Microbial Biomass in a Coastal Sand Dune of Subtropical China

GAO Wei1,2,3,4, LIN Meimei5, HUANG Yongrong3, HUANG Shide3, YE Gongfu3, HUANG Zhiqun1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
    2. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-Geographical Process, Fuzhou 350007, China
    3. Research Institute of Ecological Environment, Fujian Academy of Forestry, Fuzhou 350012, China
    4. Qingdao Technical College, Qingdao 266520, Shandong, China
    5. Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA 31419, USA
  • Received:2020-03-15 Accepted:2020-05-21 Online:2020-09-30 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: HUANG Zhiqun
  • Supported by:
    The Science and Technology Major Project of Fujian Province(2018NZ0001-1);The Basal Research Fund of Fujian Province Public Scientific Research Institution(2019R1009-6);The Casuarina Research Center of Engineering and Technology;The Key Laboratory of Forest Culture and Forest Product Processing Utilization of Fujian Province.


Coastal sand dune ecosystems generally have infertile soil with low water-holding capacity and high salinity. However, many plant species have adapted to the harsh sand environment along the southeastern coast of China. Studying the microbial biomass in such an ecosystem can improve our understanding of the roles that microbes play in soil fertility and nutrient cycling. We investigated the differences in soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) contents and their seasonal dynamics in five forest types (a secondary forest and plantations of Casuarinas, Pine, Acacia, and Eucalyptus). The results indicated that the seasonal variations of soil MBC and MBN contents in all five forest stands were higher in spring and winter, but lower in summer and autumn. The MBC content was lower in the Casuarinas plantation than in the other plantations in the same soil layer. However, no significant differences were observed in MBN contents among the different forest types. The MBC and MBN concentrations were positively correlated with soil moisture, but negatively correlated with soil temperature. The MBC and MBN contents also decreased with increasing soil depth. Across all soil layers, secondary forest had the highest MBC and MBN concentrations. Our study also showed that the MBC and MBN contents were positively affected by total soil carbon (TC), pH, and litter N content, but were negatively impacted by soil bulk density and litter C content. Moreover, the MBN content was positively correlated with root N content. In summary, environmental factors and the differences in litter and fine roots, soil nutrient contents, as well as the soil physical and chemical properties caused by different tree species collectively affected the concentrations of the soil MBC and MBN.

Key words: coastal sand dunes, soil microbial biomass carbon, soil microbial biomass nitrogen, secondary forest, Pinus elliottii, Casuarina equisetifolia, Acacia crassicarpa, Eucalyptus urophylla × E.grandis plantations;