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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Microbial Diversity and Greenhouse Gas Production of Decaying Pine Logs

1
Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, via di Lanciola 12/A, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2
Research Centre for Forestry and Wood, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, piazza Nicolini 6, 38100 Trento, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Forests 2017, 8(7), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8070224
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
In Sustainable Forest Management, decaying wood plays an important role in forest biodiversity, carbon balance and nutrient cycling. The management of this important component of forest ecosystems is limited by the fact that little is known about relationships between substrate quality and community structure of wood-inhabiting microorganisms. During decomposition, carbon stored in deadwood is lost either in the atmosphere or in the soil, but to our knowledge, limited information on the quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted is available. In the present research we investigated the correlation between the decay of logs, the decomposer microorganisms and their activities, in terms of GHG production and enzymes, in a black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold ssp. nigra) degraded forest. The decomposition of deadwood was visually assessed using a five-class system, and for each decay class four wood samples were collected. CO2, CH4 and N2O potential production from each decay class was measured in closed systems by means of gas chromatography. Enzyme activities related to carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus cycling were measured fluorometrically. The composition of decomposer microbial communities (fungi, bacteria and actinobacteria) was assessed by using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting. CO2 production and enzyme activities were significantly higher in the last decay classes of deadwood. The molecular approach highlighted differences in microbial community structure both at species and abundance levels, depending on the rate of decay. View Full-Text
Keywords: deadwood; decay classes; GHG potential production; microbial biodiversity; peri-urban forests; Monte Morello (Italy) deadwood; decay classes; GHG potential production; microbial biodiversity; peri-urban forests; Monte Morello (Italy)
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Pastorelli, R.; Agnelli, A.E.; De Meo, I.; Graziani, A.; Paletto, A.; Lagomarsino, A. Analysis of Microbial Diversity and Greenhouse Gas Production of Decaying Pine Logs. Forests 2017, 8, 224.

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