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Effect of Leaf Litter Treatment on Soil Microbial Biomass

DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2018.88014, PP. 175-185

Keywords: Leaf Litter of Leguminous Trees, Non-Leguminous Trees, Soil Organic Matter, Soil Microbial Biomass

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Abstract:

Soil microbial biomass is an active fraction of soil organic matter. It shows quicker response than soil organic matter to any change in the soil environment. Being an index of soil fertility, it plays a key role in the decomposition of litters and fast release of available nutrients. Leaf litters of leguminous and non-leguminous species in alone and mixed form were applied as treatments in the soil to observe the changes in the magnitude of soil microbial biomass. Soil microbial biomass C and N were determined by chloroform fumigation extraction method. Increment in the concentration of microbial biomass C and N was higher in the treatments with leguminous leaf litter (497 - 571 μgCg?1, 48 - 55 μgNg?1) than the non-leguminous one (256 - 414 μgCg?1; 22 - 36 μgNg?1). However, when non-leguminous litters were mixed with leguminous litters then the values increased distinctly (350 - 465 μgCg?1, 28 - 48 μgNg?1). On the basis of increment in soil microbial biomass, leaf litters of the species considered potential to improve soil nutrients are—Cassia siamea and Dalbergia sissoo from leguminous trees, Anthocephalus + Cassia and Shorea + Dalbergia from mixed form of non-leguminous and leguminous one and Eichhornia crassipes, an alien aquatic macrophyte. The leaf litters of these species can be used as source of organic matter to improve the crop yield.

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