Soil microbial biomass: A key soil driver in management of ecosystem functioning
Jay Shankar Singh, Vijai Kumar Gupta
Department of Environmental Microbiology, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University, Raebarelly Road, Lucknow 226025, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Although patterns of microbial diversity and biomass have been described and reviewed at local and regional scales, a unifying driver, or set of environmental drivers affecting soil microbial biomass (SMB) pattern at global level is still missing. Biomass of soil microbial community, known as SMB is considered widely as the index of soil fertility and ecosystemproductivity. The escalating soil stresses due to land degradation and climatic variability are directly correlated with loss of microbial diversity and abundance or biomass dynamics. Therefore, alleviating soil stresses on microbial communities with ecological restoration could reduce the unpredictability and turnover rates of SMB. Thus, the key ecological factors which stabilize the SMB and minimize its turnover, are supposed to play an important role in the soil nutrient dynamics and productivity of the ecosystems. Because of the existing public concern about the deleterious impacts of ecosystem degradation, there is an increasing interest in improving the understanding of SMB, and the way, it contributes to restoration and functioning of ecosystems.
Keywords: Land degradation, Environmental drivers, Microbial community, Soil microbial biomass.