Spatio-Temporal Variability of Soil Beta-glucosidase Activity at the Arable Field Scale
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Knowledge about the spatio-temporal variability of soil enzymatic properties is crucial in evaluating their structure-function relationship and their impact on ecosystem functions. The aim of this study was to assess the spatio-temporal variability of soil β-glucosidase (BG) activity against selected physico-chemical properties at the arable fild scale. A grid soil sampling (10×10 m) was used to measure the spatial variation of soil properties across a 0.4-ha fild. The BG activity was analyzed in soil samples that were collected from the upper 20 cm of Luvisols at 50 locations in April and August 2007 and 2008. Additionally, total organic carbon (CORG), total nitrogen (NTOT) concentrations, soil pHKCl as well as texture and water content were determined. The dataset was analyzed using classical statistical and geostatistical methods. Based on the analysis of variance, it was found that the BG activity, CORG, and water content showed signifiant differences between the four sampling dates. The BG activity showed a high contribution of nugget effect in sill (over 50%) and revealed a moderate spatial structure. The range of spatial autocorrelation calculated for the BG activity was between 15.0 and 61.0 m. Less intensive sampling grid should be recommended for soil BG activity in further studies concerning spatial variability in arable fild scale. In turn, more frequent sampling must be included in the sampling strategy in order to better understand whether the BG activity always shows permanent spatial patterns in soil or whether it is more randomized.
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