USING SOIL UREASE ENZYME ACTIVITY AS SOIL QUALITY INDICATOR FOR REFLECTING FIRE INFLUENCE IN FOREST ECOSYSTEM


Cetin S. C. , Ekinci H., KAVDIR Y., Yuksel O.

FRESENIUS ENVIRONMENTAL BULLETIN, vol.18, no.12, pp.2380-2387, 2009 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Name: FRESENIUS ENVIRONMENTAL BULLETIN
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2380-2387
  • Keywords: Urease enzyme activity, forest fire, indicator, recovery time, MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, AGGREGATE STABILITY, ORGANIC FRACTION, HARDWOOD FOREST, WILDFIRE, OHIO, EVOLUTION, FREQUENCY, ABUNDANCE, BIOMASS

Abstract

Soil enzyme activities are widely accepted as sensitive indicators of ecological disturbance. This study investigated the effects of forest wildfires on soil urease activity (involved in N cycle) and selected soil chemical properties (total Nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen, organic carbon, C: N ratio and cation exchange capacity) in four different fire-altered forest ecosystems in Canakkale, Turkey. The wildfires occurred 12, 8, 2 years and 2 weeks before soil sampling, (Cumali, CU; Gelibolu, GB; Kesan, KS; and Lapseki, LP; respectively). Except recently burned site (LP), other sites showed the similar trends for all measured soil properties. LP site differs from the others due to having different plant community. C: N ratios were higher in burned sites than unburned sites whereas CEC were lower in burned sites than unburned sites. Soil organic C, total N and NH4-N contents decreased in CU, GB and KS sites and increased in LP site. The t test (2 tailed) showed that burning significantly decreased soil organic C in GB and KS sites (P<0.05), total nitrogen content in GB site (P<0.01) and soil NH4-N content in KS site relative to unburned-burned soils. Soil urease enzyme activities were higher in unburned soils in GB, KS and LP sites; however, burning significantly (P<0.05) decreased soil urease activity in GB and KS sites. Also, CEC and soil urease activity was positively correlated (0.859, P<0.1) in burned soils. The results showed that soil urease enzyme activity showed a better explanation for discriminating fire effect.