Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

R. Horn, W. Markgraf, T. Baumgartl and W. Bartsch

Stress dependent effects on microbiological activity in soils


The stress dependent alteration of soil strength under mostly static loading conditions and their effect on physical properties like changes in hydraulic conductivity are well defined. However, coupled and in addition short term processes on soil deformation and changes in the microbial activity and gas diffusion are mostly unknown. Thus, it was the aim of this paper to develop an adequate method which enables us to detect stress dependent changes in microbial activity. The corresponding stress strain measurements with simultaneous determination of the CO2-concentrations revealed increased and decreasing values with stress depending on the applied stress and the soil management practice. These differences ranged between 29–65 mg CO2/m2/h.

Key words: Microbiological activity, mechanical stress, CO2-emission of soils, pore continuity, tortuosity.