Biomass and activity soil microorganisms in grazing and secondary forests areasA
Paloma collareja
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


Carbon biomass
jersey cattle
carbon source

How to Cite

WingChing-Jones, R., & Uribe Lorío, L. (2016). Biomass and activity soil microorganisms in grazing and secondary forests areasA. UNED Research Journal, 8(1), 107-113.


Sustainable livestock production generates benefits for the environment, such as water capture, increased biodiversity and carbon dioxide capture. To measure these factors in a tropical setting, in 2007 we took three samples of a milk production system in Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica, in areas with permanent African Star grass cover (under grazing) and a secondary forest with 15 years of regeneration. We estimated carbon content in the microbial biomass, microbial activity (breathing technique), carbon usage profile (BIOLOG ECOPLATES®) and functional diversity of microorganisms (Shannon index). Biomass carbon in the pasture was 3,3 times higher than in the forest, but microbial activity was similar. Carbon use rate ranged from 22,22 to 85,19% in the pasture (higher in the forest: 29,63 to 92,59%). In both areas growth correlated with incubation time, but the forest had more biodiversity. Pasture areas are favored by carbon deposition to the rhizosphere, while the variety of vegetation in the forest allows greater functional diversity in the use of carbon substrates.
PDF (Español (España))
HTML (Español (España))


Anderson, J. P. (1982). Soil respiration. Methods of soil analysis.Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties, 831-871.

Avila, G. (2000). Fijación y almacenamiento de carbono en sistemas de café bajo sombra, café a pleno sol, sistemas silvopastoriles y pasturas a pleno sol. (Tesis de maestría). Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza. Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica.

Beetz,A. (2002). A brief overview of nutrient cycling in pastures. NCAT Agriculture Specialst, ATTRA. November. 11 p.

Bilotta, G. S., Brazier, R. E., & Haygarth, P. M. (2007). The impacts of grazing animals on the quality of soils, vegetation, and surface waters in intensively managed grasslands. Advances in Agronomy, 94, 237-280.

Brookes, P. C., Cayuela, M. L., Contin, M., De Nobili, M., Kemmitt, S. J., & Mondini, C. (2008).The mineralisation of fresh and humified soil organic matter by the soil microbial biomass. Waste Management, 28, 716-722.

Corporación de Fomento Ganadero (CORFOGA). (2001). Censo ganadero. Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería Costa Rica.

Durango, W., Uribe, L., Henríquez, C., & Mata, R. (2015). Respiración, biomasa microbiana y actividad fosfatasa del suelo en dos agroecosistemas y un bosque en Turrialba, Costa Rica. Agronomía Costarricense. Agronomía Costarricense, 39,37-46.

García, E. (1991). Impacto de las actividades agropecuarias sobre el ambiente. Serie problemas ecológicos. Sección de Ciencias Biológicas. Escuela de Estudios Generales. Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica. 175 pp.

Georgieva, S., Chritensen, S., & Stevnback, K. (2005). Nematode succession and microfauna-microorganism interactions during root residue descomposition. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 37, 1763-1774.

He, X. Y., Wang, K. L., Zhang, W., Chen, Z. H., Zhu, Y. G., & Chen, H. S. (2008). Positive correlation between soil bacterial metabolic and plant species diversity and bacterial and fungal diversity in a vegetation succession on Karst. Plant and Soil, 307,123-134.

Hendrix, P.F., Crossley, D.A., Blair, J.M. & Coleman, D.C. (1990). Soil biota as compounds of sustainable agroecosystems. Sustainable agricultural systems, 637-654.

Hernández, T. & García, C. (2003). Estimación de la respiración microbiana del suelo. García, C., F. Gil S., T. Hernández, y C. Trasar C. (eds). Técnicas de Análisis de Parámetros Bioquímicos en Suelos. Actividades Enzimáticas y Biomasa Microbiana. Mundi–Prensa. Madrid, 311-346.

Holmann, F., Argel, P., Rivas, L., White, D., Estrada, R., Burgos, C., Pérez, E., Ramírez, G. & Medina, A. (2004). ¿Vale la pena recuperar pasturas degradadas? Una evaluación de los beneficios y costos desde la perspectiva de los productores y extensionistas pecuarios en Honduras. ILRI-CFC-CIAT.

Islam, K. & Wright, S. (2006). Microbial biomass measurement methods. Encyclopedia of soil science, second edition. Taylor & Francis, New York, 1067-1070.

Jackson, L. E., Pascual, U. & Hodgkin, T. (2007). Utilizing and conserving agrobiodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 121,196-210.

Kara, O & Bolat, O. (2008). Soil microbial biomass C and N changes in relation to forest conversion in the Northwestern Turkey. Land Degradation & Development, 19 (4), 421-428.

Kaštovská, E., & Šantrůčková, H. (2007). Fate and dynamics of recently fixed C in pasture plant–soil system under field conditions. Plant and Soil, 300, 61-69.

Kaschuk, G., Alberton, O. & Hungria, M. (2011). Quantifying effects of different agricultural land uses on soil microbial biomass and activity in Brazilian biomes: inferences to improve soil quality. Plant and soil, 338, 467-481.

Kennedy, A. C., & Papendick, R. I. (1995). Microbial characteristics of soil quality. Journal of soil and water conservation, 50, 243-248.

Mohamed, M. A. N., Sebai, T. N. M. & Hartmann, A. (2009). Effect of co-enrichment, soybean rhizosphere and p-hydroxybenzoic acid, on microbial metabolic diversity and p-HBA degradation. J. Agric. Biol. Sci., 5, 301-309.

Narula, N., Deubel, A., Gransee, A., Kumar Behl, R. & Merbach, W. (2002). Impact of fertilizers on total microbiological flora in planted and unplanted soils of long-term fertilization experiment. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 48,171-180.

Ndaw, S. M., Gama-Rodriguez, A. C., Gama-Rodríguez, E. F., Sales, K. R. N. & Rosado, A. S. (2009). Relationships between bacterial diversity, microbial biomass, and litter quality in soils under different plant covers in northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Canadian journal of microbiology, 55, 1089-1095.

Paul, E.A., (2007). Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry. Academic Press. 275p.

Parkinson, D. & Coleman, D. C. (1991). Microbial communities, activity and biomass. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 34, 3-33.

Secretaría Ejecutiva de Planificación Sectorial Agropecuaria (SEPSA). (2015). Boletín estadístico agropecuario Nº 23. Secretaria ejecutiva de planificación sectorial agropecuaria. Área de estudios económicos e información. San José, Costa Rica.

Šimek, M., Brůček, P., Hynšt, J., Uhlířová, E. & Petersen, S. O. (2006). Effects of excretal returns and soil compaction on nitrous oxide emissions from a cattle overwintering area. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 112, 186-191.

Singh, J. S., Pandey, V. C. & Singh, D. P. (2011). Efficient soil microorganisms: A new dimension for sustainable agriculture and environmental development. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 140, 339-353.

Vance, E. D., Brookes, P. C., & Jenkinson, D. S. (1987). An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil biology and Biochemistry, 19, 703-707.

Van Der Heijden, M. G., Bardgett, R. D., & Van Straalen, N. M. (2008). The unseen majority: Soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecology letters, 11, 296-310.

Xu W., Ge Z., Poudel D. (2015). Application and optimization of biolog ecoplates in functional diversity studies of soil microbial communities. MATEC Web Conference 22:04015. DOI:10.1051/matecconf/20152204015.

Copyright is shared by the authors and the journal; contents can be reproduced if the source and copyright are acknowledged according to the Open Access license CC BY 4.0. Self-storage in preprint servers and repositories is allowed for all versions. We encourage authors to publish raw data and data logs in public repositories and to include the links with all drafts so that reviewers and readers can consult them at any time.

The journal is financed by public funds via Universidad Estatal a Distancia and editorial independence and ethical compliance are guaranteed by the Board of Editors, UNED. We do not publish paid ads or receive funds from companies.