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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Ghoshal, N. and Singh, K.P. (1995) Effects of Farmyard Manure and Inorganic Fertilizer on the Dynamics of Soil Microbial Biomass in a Tropical Dryland Agroecosystem. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 19, 231-238.
Kalembasa, S.J. and Jankinson, D.S. (1979) A Comparative Study of Titremetric and Gravimetric Methods for the Determination of Organic Carbon in Soil. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture, 24, 1019-1085.
Brookes, P.C., Landman, A., Pruden, G. and Jenkison, D.S. (1985) Chloroform Fumigation and the Release of Soil Nitrogen: A Rapid Direct Extraction Method to Measure Microbial Biomass Nitrogen in Soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 17, 837-842. https://doi.org/10.1016/0038-0717(85)90144-0
Powlson, D.S., Brookes, P.C. and Christensen, B.T. (1987) Measurement of Microbial Biomass Provides an Early Indication of Changes in Total Soil Matter Due to Straw Incorporation. Soil and Biochemistry, 19, 159-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/0038-0717(87)90076-9
Hassink, J., Lebbink, J. and van Veen, J.A. (1991) Microbial Biomass and Activity of a Reclaimed-Polder Soil under a Conventional or Reduced Input Farming System. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 23, 507-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/0038-0717(91)90107-U
Shah, Z., Rashid Ahmad, S. and Hidyad, Ur.R. (2010) Soil Microbial Biomass and Activities as Influenced by Green Legumes and N-Fertilizer in Rice Wheat System. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 42, 2589-2598