A comparison of nutrient dynamics and microbial community characteristics across seasons and soil types in two different old growth forests in costa rica

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The use of nutrient and microbial metrics were examined as potential indicators of change in microbial community structure and nutrient dynamics across landscape-scale nutrient and seasonal moisture gradients in the Carbono Project forest soils in Costa Rica. Previous studies showed a decrease in net primary productivity occurred in these forests during the warmer years. In this study, differences were found in soil microbial community structure and function and nutrient dynamics across seasons and soil types. Most critically, when the soil moisture decreased in the dry season, there was a significant decrease in fungal contribution, carbon biomass development, and efficiency of carbon utilization in the soils. The implications are that should these forests continue to become warmer or the dry season lengthen, it could have measurable impacts on the soil biomass development and soil ecosystem health. The metrics from this study appear to have potential use for monitoring forest soil conditions. © International Society for Tropical Ecology.

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Tropical Ecology

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