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Web Ecology An open-access peer-reviewed journal
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Volume 9, issue 1
Web Ecol., 9, 68–71, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-9-68-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Web Ecol., 9, 68–71, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-9-68-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Dec 2009

09 Dec 2009

Manipulation of soil biota in ecological research

W.-M. He and Q.-G. Cui W.-M. He and Q.-G. Cui
  • State Key Lab of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Inst. of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100093 Beijing, China

Abstract. Manipulation of soil biota, such as soil sterilization, may have complex effects as they alter soil properties as well as microorganism communities. To assess the effects of such manipulation, we conducted an experiment using three sterilizing approaches, two soil types, and two plant species to identify the problems that may occur when different sterilizing approaches are used. The sterilizing treatments decreased growth of plants and resulted in large changes in soil nutrients and pH. Such effects varied with the approach followed. Our data suggest that studied effects on soil biota may be misleading if we fail to consider such changes in the soil.

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