Biological and biochemical properties in evaluation of forest soil quality
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The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of using biological and biochemical parameters in the evaluation of forest soil quality and changes caused by land use. The study attempted to determine a relationship between the enzymatic activity of soil, the number of earthworms and soil physico-chemical properties. The study was carried out in central Poland in adjoining Forest Districts (Przedbórz and Smardzewice). In soil samples taken from 12 research plots, basic physico-chemical properties, enzyme activity (dehydrogenase, urease) and density and biomass of earthworms were examined. Enzyme activity showed a large diversity within the forest site types studied. The correlations between the activity of the enzymes studied and C/N ratio indicated considerable importance of these enzymes in metabolism of essential elements of organic matter of forest soils. Urease and dehydrogenase activity and earthworm number showed susceptibility to soil pH, which confirmed relationships between enzyme activity and abundance of earthworms and soil pH in H2O and KCl.
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