Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Steven T. OverbySuzanne M. Owen; Stephen C. Hart; Daniel G. Neary; Nancy C. Johnson
    Date: 2015
    Source: Applied Soil Ecology. 93: 1-10.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (562.81 KB)

    Description

    Establishment of native grasses is a primary objective of restoration in Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum (P. & C. Lawson) forests in the southwestern United States. Interactions among native grasses and soil microorganisms generate feedbacks that influence the achievement of this objective. We examined soil chemical properties and communities of plants and soil microorganisms in clear-cuts and P. ponderosa stands thinned and maintained at low and medium tree densities for over 40 years along with high density (unthinned) stands. Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) in soils were analyzed to examine arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and microbial communities in the three thinning treatments and the unthinned stands with and without a recent broadcast burn. Additionally, two native bunchgrasses, Festuca arizonica and Muhlenbergia wrightii were grown in containers filled with intact soil cores collected from each field plot to more thoroughly compare the abundance of AM fungi and microbial communities across different stand densities and burn treatments. Tree thinning decreased litter cover and increased the abundance and diversity and altered community composition of both herbaceous vegetation and AM fungi. In the mineral soil layer, the pH, total carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and PLFA profiles did not differ significantly among the four stand density or burn treatments. Mycorrhizal colonization of the container grown grasses did not significantly differ with tree density or burn treatments; however, F. arizonica roots had a strong trend for decreased colonization when grown in soil from high density (unthinned) tree cover. Soil from the containers with F. arizonica had a greater abundance of AM fungal spores. Furthermore, bacterial community composition varied with grass species. Concentration of biomarkers for bacteria were higher in soil that supported F. arizonica compared to soil in which M. wrightii was grown. Our results indicate that the creation of clear-cut openings in forests may increase the abundance and richness of AM fungal propagules and soil bacterial communities were surprisingly resilient to tree thinning and low-intensity fire treatments. These results suggest managing forests to create clear-cut openings generate conditions that favor understory native grasses and AM fungi that are linked to soil bacterial communities.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Overby, Steven T.; Owen, Suzanne M.; Hart, Stephen C.; Neary, Daniel G.; Johnson, Nancy C. 2015. Soil microbial community resilience with tree thinning in a 40-year-old experimental ponderosa pine forest. Applied Soil Ecology. 93: 1-10.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, phospholipid fatty acids, soil bioassay, Festuca arizonica, Muhlenbergia wrightii, Fort Valley Experimental Forest

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/48043