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We tested three hypotheses: (i) increasing salinity decreases soil microbial biomass; (ii) microbial community structure is changed by increased salinity; and (iii) any changes in the community that are brought about by increasing salinity will reflect adaptations in the PLFA composition resulting from microbial cell stress.
One half was frozen (-20[degrees]C) for PLFA analysis, and the other was air-dried in the shade at ambient laboratory temperature and then sieved (2-mm mesh size) before chemical and physical analysis.
The PLFA molecular structures are described with standard nomenclature.
A factor analysis was carried out for enzymatic activities and for relative quantity of specific PLFA to explore possible differences between treatments.
Soil samples for PLFA
analysis were freeze-dried, sieved (<2 mm) to remove roots, shells, and gravel, and stored at -80[degrees]C until analysis.
When both biochemical and microbiological parameters were included in the PC analysis (Table 3, column IV), functional diversity (E), TPLFA, i/a (iso/anteiso) PLFA
ratio, POC 2 and the soil respiration (Respl) were retained.
No significant effect of stubble treatment was observed on PLFA
Differences among treatments with regard to chemical properties of the soil, PLFA
, and abundance of microarthropods were analysed by repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Fisher's protected least significant difference (1.
For the calculation of the fungal/bacterial PLFA
(F/B) ratio, the saturated FAMEs (S) i15:0, al5:0, i16:0, 16:0, 17:0, 20:0, 22:0 and the monounsaturated (M) 16:1w9, cyl7:0, cyl9:0, 18:1w9 were chosen to represent bacterial biomass, and 18:2w6 was taken as indicator of fungal biomass.
were quantified from peak heights and known response factors for individual PLFAs
The mass of fungal PLFAs
did not differ in the different systems, but arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which would have been associated with pasture species, were lower under P.