Microbial Properties and Dehydrogenase Activity in Semiarid Area, Kerman Province, Iran
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Microbiology Department, Biological Sciences Faculty, Alzahra University, Tehran, I. R. Iran
Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, I. R. Iran
Parisa Mohammadi   

Microbiology Department, Biological Science Faculty, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran, Vanak, 1993891176 Tehran, Iran
Submission date: 2017-09-20
Final revision date: 2017-12-11
Acceptance date: 2018-02-10
Online publication date: 2018-09-07
Publication date: 2018-12-20
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2019;28(2):853–860
Soil microbial and biochemical properties are important indicators in estimating soil degradation. This study aimed to determine the impact of site, season, and grazing on microbial population size, microbial biomass carbon, and dehydrogenase activity in two semiarid areas in Kerman Province, Iran. Soil samples were taken from four sites that were either cold or warm and either grazed or notgrazed over two seasons. Microbial count, microbial biomass carbon, and dehydrogenase activity were determined via plate count, fumigation-extraction, and colorometric methods, respectively. The statistical analysis showed a significant difference in fungal and bacterial plate count, microbial biomass, and dehydrogenase activity among the studied areas. Fungal and bacterial counts, microbial biomass carbon, and dehydrogenase activity were greater at cold sites compared to warm sites, possibly due to increased plant cover, soil organic carbon, and moisture. In addition, there was temporal variation in microbial properties and dehydrogenase activity with the increased activity of the spring samples. Grazing did not change the soil chemical properties but did alter its microbiological properties and dehydrogenase activity, indicating their greater sensitivity in estimating soil quality. Based on the measured microbial properties, the cold sites have an advantage in sustaining soil quality, and the warm sites are more likely to require protective management programs.