Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

S. Malý, J. Hofman and L. Dušek:

Bioindicative value of eco-physiological indices in routine evaluation of soils – a pilot monitoring study in the Czech Republic


Monitoring of microbial properties was introduced to the soil monitoring program in the CzechRepublic in 1999.

Microbial biomass C and N, basal and substrate-induced respiration, N mineralization and potential nitrification were measured in 60 soil samples taken from 27 plots on grasslands and from 33 plots on arable soil in April, July and October 1999. Relationships between abiotic and microbial parameters were clearer in grasslands than in arable soils.

Amount of microbial biomass was mainly determined by concentration of soil organic matter. Microbial biomass had a strong positive influence on C and N mineralization. Six eco-physiological quotients (Cbio/Corg, Nbio/Norg, qCO2: respirated CO2-C/Cbio, qN: N mineralization/Nbio, potential respiration/basal respiration, Cbio/Nbio) were calculated from basic microbial properties. They showed seasonal fluctuations and were significantly influenced by texture.

Behaviour of the quotients Nbio/Norg and N-mineralization/Nbio showed the same pattern as the parallel carbon quotients.

Key words: biomonitoring, soil quality, eco-physiological quotients, seasonal variability, textural influences.