, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 612–621 | Cite as

Regulation of the biomass and activity of soil microorganisms by microfauna

  • A. Sh. Mamilov
  • B. A. Byzov
  • A. D. Pokarzhevskii
  • D. G. Zvyagintsev
Experimental Articles


Microcosm experiments showed that the microbial biomass and the respiration activity in soil were regulated by nematodes. Depending on nematode number and plant residue composition, the trophic activity of nematodes can either stimulate or inhibit microbial growth and respiration as compared to soil containing no nematodes. The stimulating effect was observed when nitrogen-free (starch) or low-nitrogen (wheat straw, C : N = 87) organic substrates were applied. Inhibition occurred when a substrate rich in nitrogen (alfalfa meal, C : N = 28) was decomposed and the nematode population exceeded the naturally occurring level. A conceptual model was developed to describe trophic regulation by microfauna (nematodes) of the microbial productivity and respiration ctivity and decomposition of not readily decomposable organic matter in soil. The stimulating and inhibiting influence of microfauna on soil microorganisms was not a linear function of the rate of microbial consumption by nematodes. These effects are largely associated with the induced change in the physiological state of microorganisms rather than with the mobilization of biogenic elements from the decomposed microbial biomass.

Key words

microbial biomass respiration rate microfauna nematodes catabolic diversity 


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Copyright information

© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sh. Mamilov
    • 1
  • B. A. Byzov
    • 1
  • A. D. Pokarzhevskii
    • 2
  • D. G. Zvyagintsev
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Biology, Faculty of Soil ScienceMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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