In this research study, enzyme activity was used to assess differences occurring in soils as a result of the different tree species influence. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and mixed-species stands on the enzymatic activity and chemical characteristics of soil. Sample plots were located in central Poland, in the Przedbórz forest district (51.09.59.50°N, 20.00.24.25°E). The test area was dominated by Brunic Arenosols. 15 research plots were established (5 plots under pine, 5 plots under oak and 5 plots under mixed-species stand). Soil samples from the O, A and AB horizons were taken. In soil samples pH, soil texture, and organic carbon, nitrogen, base cation contents, dehydrogenase activity and urease activity were determined. Tree species affected soil organic matter accumulation, pH and microbial activity. The highest enzyme activity was reported in the soils under oak and mixed-species stands. The soil pH was lower under pine forest than under oak and mixed-species stands. pHs is presumably a major factor affecting microbial community composition and enzyme dynamics. We noted a significant correlation between enzyme activity and C/N ratio which is often used to describe litter quality. A lower C/N ratio was found in oak and mixed-species stands compared with pine stands.
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