Tropical and subtropical ecosystems are widely affected by the expansion of agriculture over pristine lands. Despite research efforts, knowledge of the impact of land-use change on soil is still limited by intrinsic variability, inconsistent results and inadequate replication. This study aimed to better understand the consequences of land-use change by focusing on long-term effects on both soil biotic and abiotic parameters. For this purpose, we selected three productive farms under similar management, each of them with pristine forest sites and agricultural sites that had been deforested for 15 and 30 years. In each site, we analysed soil microbiological (phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), biomass and activity) and physicochemical parameters. Long-term land-use change caused a detriment in soil microbial biomass, activity and fungal abundance, but only small changes in PLFA composition. In fact, PLFA composition was more affected by soil physicochemical properties such as carbon-to-nutrient ratios and labile carbon than by land use. Some physicochemical parameters (e.g., organic carbon and nutrients) were also negatively affected by land-use change and were more sensitive to time under agricultural use than microbiological parameters. The lower sensitivity of microbiological parameters could be the result of severe drought conditions at sampling, which may have affected soil microbial communities in both land uses.\nWe were also able to detect associations between specific microbiological and physicochemical parameters. Among these, we identified some that seemed to result from their co-variation in response to land-use change and others that seemed to be independent of land use. Overall, our results show that soils can suffer further deterioration several years after deforestation. In order to restore soil health in these degraded lands, we need to keep on investigating the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms responsible for this deterioration.
Tosi, M.; Chludil, H. D.; Correa, O. S.; Vogrig, J. A.; & Montecchia, M. S. (2021). Long - term legacy of land - use change in soils from a subtropical rainforest : relating microbiological and physicochemical parameters. European journal of soil science,72, (2),p.1054–1069
Tosi, Micaela, Chludil, Hugo Daniel, Correa, Olga Susana, Vogrig, Jimena Andrea, Montecchia, Marcela Susana. 2021. "Long - term legacy of land - use change in soils from a subtropical rainforest : relating microbiological and physicochemical parameters". European journal of soil science 72, no.2:1054–1069.
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