Editor: Christoph Tebbe
Effect of drying and rewetting on bacterial growth rates in soil
Article first published online: 10 JUN 2008
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 65, Issue 3, pages 400–407, September 2008
How to Cite
Iovieno, P. and Bååth, E. (2008), Effect of drying and rewetting on bacterial growth rates in soil. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 65: 400–407. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00524.x
- Issue published online: 7 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 10 JUN 2008
- Received 9 January 2008; revised 25 April 2008; accepted 28 April 2008.First published online 10 June 2008.
- soil moisture;
- bacterial growth;
- thymidine incorporation;
- leucine incorporation;
The effect of soil moisture on bacterial growth was investigated, and the effects of rewetting were compared with glucose addition because both treatments increase substrate availability. Bacterial growth was estimated as thymidine and leucine incorporation, and was compared with respiration. Low growth rates were found in air-dried soil, increasing rapidly to high stable values in moist soils. Respiration and bacterial growth at different soil moisture contents were correlated. Rewetting air-dried soil resulted in a linear increase in bacterial growth with time, reaching the levels in moist soil (10 times higher) after about 7 h. Respiration rates increased within 1 h to a level >10 times higher than that in moist soil. After the initial flush, there was a gradual decrease in respiration rate, while bacterial growth increased to levels twice that of moist soil 24 h after rewetting, and decreased to levels similar to those in moist soil after 2 days. Adding glucose resulted in no positive effect on bacterial growth during the first 9 h, despite resulting in more than five times higher respiration. This indicated that the initial increase in bacterial growth after rewetting was not due to increased substrate availability.