Consequences of habitat heterogenity for microbial biomass in a dry tropical forest of Vindhyan Hill, India
Seasonal and spatial dynamics of microbial C, N and P in response to organic matter accumulation in a matrix of troughs and flats on the floor of a dry tropical forest have been studied. Troughs had significantly higher microbial C, N and P than all other microsites. Flats had the minimum microbial C, N and P in all the seasons. Release of nitiogen during first four weeks of the rainy season from the microbial biomass was 85 -118 μg g-1 in the patchy microsites and 56-96 μg g-1 in the non-patchy microsites. Realease of phosphorus from microbial biomass during that same period was 47-67 μg g-1 in the patchy microsites and 24-56 μg g-1 in the non-patchy microsites. The study reveals that the habitat heterogeneity due to topographic depressions has leaded to the formation of hot spots (troughs or patchy microsites) on the forest floor with greater potential for sustaining microbial biomass than adjacent non-patchy microsites (flats).
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