ABSTRACT The aim of the study was the statistical evaluation of the impact of water potential (pF), oxygen availability (ODR) and the way of land use on microbial biomass (MB) and soil DNA content. Soil was extracted from the surface (0 - 20 cm) and subsurface (20 - 40 cm) layers of Mollic Gleysol. Soil material was collected in July 2009 from the village Kosiorow (SE part of Poland), from the two distinct neighbouring areas: agriculturally exploited (AE), and fallow land (FL), which served as the control area. Moisture content was determined for a range of pF values (0, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0), which corresponded to availability of water usable by microorganisms and plant roots. Finally, our results revealed significant (p < 0.001) positive relationship between DNA and soil MB content, and negative correlations between soil MB and both pF and ODR. Importantly, MB seemed significantly dependent on the different way of land use, and higher MB content was noted in the soil agriculturally exploited (p < 0.05) in contrast to the control area.
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