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Ewa Błońska, Jarosław Lasota and Maciej Zwydak

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of different types of land use (forest, tillage and pasture) on soil properties, especially enzyme activity. Our investigation was carried out on 53 research plots with 11 plots in broadleaved forest stands, 12 plots in mixed broadleaved stands, 10 plots in mixed coniferous stands, 9 plots on tillage and 11 plots on pasture. The soil samples were collected from a depth of 0–15 cm after removing the organic horizon. Contents of organic carbon and nitrogen, pH and soil texture were investigated. Furthermore, dehydrogenase and urease activity were determined. Significant differences in the enzyme activity between forest and agricultural soils were observed, thus demonstrating that enzyme activity is influenced by the organic matter content of the soil. The highest enzyme activity was recorded in the forest soil within broadleaved stands, whilst the lowest activity was found in tillage soil, because tillage soil contained significantly less organic matter. High enzymatic activity of pasture soils is the combined result of vegetation type and the lack of plowing.

Open access

Ewa Błońska, Jarosław Lasota and Kazimierz Januszek

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the enzymatic activity (dehydrogenase and urease) in trophically diverse Gleysols. Efforts to establish the relationship between enzymatic activity and physico-chemical properties of various subtypes of Gleysols were attempted. Dehydrogenase activity was best correlated with carbon content and acidity among the studied properties of soils. Urease activity was correlated with the reaction pf soil. Enzyme activity differentiates subtypes of Gleysols, which are characterized by a different type of soil humus. The dehydrogenase activity was higher in gleysols with peat or muck of swamp habitats. The opposite trend was found in the urease activity. The urease activity was the highest in the gleysols without organic matter. The studies showed that enzymatic activity is closely related to the type of accumulated organic matter and at the same time with species variety of plant communities..

Open access

Ewa Błońska, Jarosław Lasota and Kazimierz Januszek

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the enzymatic activity (dehydrogenase and urease) in trophically diverse Brunic Arenosols and Cambisols. Efforts to establish the relationship between enzymatic activity and physico-chemical properties of various subtypes of Brunic Arenosols and Cambisols were attempted. Another aim was to determine the effect of vegetation on the properties of soil surface levels. The study was conducted on 94 plots located in nature reserves and national parks in the Polish lowland area. Dehydrogenase activity and urease showed large variations in the subtypes of the distinguished Brunic Arenosols and Cambisols. Dehydrogenases and urease activity in surface layers of fresh humus of Cambisols and Brunic Arenosols was strongly associated with the plants. This is confirmed by the relationship between the enzymatic activity and the type of accumulated humus substances, the ratio of carbon to nitrogen and humus horizons reaction.

Open access

Wojciech Piaszczyk, Ewa Błoñska and Jarosław Lasota

Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess the effects of organic fertilization on selected chemical properties of the soil and the activity of dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase in the soil of forest nursery. The main goal was to evaluate the role of organic fertilizers in carbon storage in the forest nursery soil. Sample plots were located in northern Poland in the Polanów Forest District on a forest nursery. Soil samples were collected from horizon 0–20 cm for laboratory analyzes. In soil samples pH, soil texture, and organic carbon, nitrogen, base cation contents, dehydrogenase activity and β-glucosidase activity were determined. The obtained results were used to evaluate the carbon storage. The results confirm the beneficial effect of the applied organic fertilizer on chemical properties of the soils under study and their biological activity. The applied organic fertilizers had an impact on increased accumulation of soil organic matter. In the soils investigated, there was an increase in the activity of such enzymes as dehydrogenases and β-glucosidase.

Open access

Ewa Błońska and Kazimierz Januszek

Abstract

Taking into account the progressive degradation of soils it is important to assess their quality. Soil quality depends on a large number of physical, chemical, biological and biochemical properties. In the publications available, there are presented three approaches regarding the use of soil properties to estimate soil quality: (1) the use of individual properties, (2) the use of simple indexes and (3) the use of complex indexes derived from combinations of different properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility to use enzymes as indicators of forest soil quality. Experimental plots (43) were located in central Poland. The study was carried out in a number of diverse fresh forest sites. To assess the quality of forest soils dehydrogenase and urease activity and the degree of base saturation were used. One of the final conclusions point out that enzymatic activity indicates current site condition as well as the changes that occur in soil better than soil physical and chemical properties. In other words, in comparison to soil enzymatic activity, soil physico-chemical properties constitute a less sensitive indicator of soil changes.

Open access

Ewa Błońska and Jarosław Lasota

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of using biological and biochemical parameters in the evaluation of forest soil quality and changes caused by land use. The study attempted to determine a relationship between the enzymatic activity of soil, the number of earthworms and soil physico-chemical properties. The study was carried out in central Poland in adjoining Forest Districts (Przedbórz and Smardzewice). In soil samples taken from 12 research plots, basic physico-chemical properties, enzyme activity (dehydrogenase, urease) and density and biomass of earthworms were examined. Enzyme activity showed a large diversity within the forest site types studied. The correlations between the activity of the enzymes studied and C/N ratio indicated considerable importance of these enzymes in metabolism of essential elements of organic matter of forest soils. Urease and dehydrogenase activity and earthworm number showed susceptibility to soil pH, which confirmed relationships between enzyme activity and abundance of earthworms and soil pH in H2O and KCl.

Open access

Jarosław Lasota, Małgorzata Wiecheć, Ewa Błońska and Stanisław Brożek

Abstract

The aim of this study was to present the relationship between soil properties and biodiversity indexes in upland fir (Abies alba) forest associations (Abietetum albae). Our study was conducted in six areas representing the growth conditions of upland fir forests and the research plots were located in the Roztoczański and Świętokrzyski National Parks as well as Przedbórz, Radomsko, Piotrków and Janów lubelski Forest District. on every plot, the topography was described, soil cores were examined and samples for laboratory analysis were taken. the following characteristics were determined for the soil samples: ph, c, n, ca, Mg, na and K content, particle size, exchangeable acidity, aluminum content and hydrolytic acidity. additionally, enzyme activity in the soil samples (urease and dehydrogenase) was measured. in each test area, the stand characteristics were measured (diameter at breast height and height), floristic characteristics were described and the biodiversity indexes (Shannon, Simpson and Margalef indexes) were calculated. Different soil types (gleysols, Brunic arenosols, gleyic Podzols and hyperdistric cambisols) were recorded for the investigated forest stands and the soils were categorized according to soil texture, c content, enzyme activity and different humus types (moder-mor, moder, moder-mull). the upland mixed coniferous forest sites were characterized by lower biodiversity indexes (2.6 shannon index; 0.72 simpson index; 4.9 Margalef index) while the upland mixed broadleaf forest sites showed higher indexes (3.3 Shannon index; 0.87 Simpson index; 9.4 Margalef index). The site index obtained for the fir stands confirmed these results.

Open access

Jarosław Lasota, Ewa Błońska, Tomasz Wanic and Maciej Zwydak

Abstract

The subject of this study were soil requirements of common woody shrubs, which may be part of the forest understory (Sorbus aucuparia L., Frangula alnus Mill., Corylus avellana L., Juniperus communis L., Padus avium Mill., Euonymus europaea L., Sambucus nigra L.). We focused on phytocenoses in the vicinity of natural forests in reserves and national parks of Polish lowlands and defined optimal types and subtypes of soil with trophic variations for each underwood species. The range of trophism for each species of shrub was determined using specific physicochemical properties of the soils, while soil quality was assessed using the Trophic Soil Index (SIG) (Brożek et al. 2011a). The ecological requirements of the before-mentioned underwood species were linked with forest typology as well as natural vegetation and they showed different soil requirements. Here we report significant differences in particle size and dynamics of organic matter decomposition in soils associated with these underwood species.

Open access

Jarosław Lasota, Ewa Błońska, Maciej Zwydak and Tomasz Wanic

Abstract

The physical and chemical properties of soil are the basic features that are used in the assessment of mountain sites. The aim of this study was to produce a simple key for classifying forest sites in mountain areas using soil particle size distribution. 200 plots (standard typological space) were selected for examination, most of which are typical of the Carpathians - being dominated by flysch rock. A few plots were located in the Sudety and Tatra Mountains, which have a different surface geology, mostly metamorphic rock and granite. The study proved that soil properties (reaction, base saturation, content of base cations, organic carbon and nitrogen) are helpful in distinguishing and assigning soils to particular site types. The particle size distribution of forest mountain sites separated into different categories in terms of productivity. These results can be used to improve the classification of forest mountain sites.

Open access

Ewa Błońska, Kazimierz Januszek, Stanisław Małek and Tomasz Wanic

Abstract

The experimental plots used in the study were located in the middle forest zone (elevation: 900-950 m a.s.l.) on two nappes of the flysch Carpathians in southern Poland. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of serpentinite in combination with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers on selected chemical properties of the soil and activity of dehydrogenase and urease in the studied soils. All fertilizer treatments significantly enriched the tested soils in magnesium. The use of serpentinite as a fertilizer reduced the molar ratio of exchangeable calcium to magnesium, which facilitated the uptake of magnesium by tree roots due to competition between calcium and magnesium. After one year of fertilization on the Wisła experimental plot, the pH of the Ofh horizon increased, while the pH of the mineral horizons significantly decreased. Enrichment of serpentinite with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers stimulated the dehydrogenase activity in the studied organic horizon. The lack of a negative effect of the serpentinite fertilizer on enzyme activity in the spruce stand soil showed that the concentrations of the heavy metals added to the soil were not high enough to be toxic and indicated the feasibility of using this fertilizer in forestry.