Accounting for variability in soil microbial communities of temperate upland grassland ecosystems

Susan J. Grayston, Gwyn S. Griffith, J. L. Mawdsley, Colin D. Campbell, Richard D. Bardgett

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421 Citations (SciVal)


This study aimed to determine the factors which regulate soil microbial community organisation and function in temperate upland grassland ecosystems. Soil microbial biomass (Cmic), activity (respiration and potential carbon utilisation) and community structure (phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, culturing and community level physiological profiles (CLPP) (Biolog®)) were measured across a gradient of three upland grassland types; Festuca–Agrostis–Galium grassland (unimproved grassland, National Vegetation Classification (NVC) — U4a); Festuca–Agrostis–Galium grassland, Holcus–Trifolium sub-community (semi-improved grassland, NVC — U4b); Lolium–Cynosurus grassland (improved grassland, NVC — MG6) at three sites in different biogeographic areas of the UK over a period of 1 year. Variation in Cmic was mainly due to grassland type and site (accounting for 55% variance, v, in the data). Cmic was significantly (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533–551
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2001


  • Biolog
  • Grassland
  • Soil microbial biomass
  • Soil microbial community structure
  • PLFA
  • Respiration
  • Temporal variation
  • Grazing


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