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Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2013)

Bacterial diversity and activity of semiarid soils of Mahi river basin Western India

Subrahmanyam, Gangavarapu

Titre : Bacterial diversity and activity of semiarid soils of Mahi river basin Western India

Auteur : Subrahmanyam, Gangavarapu

Université de soutenance : Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2013

Résumé partiel
Soil microbes are vital for soil quality and soil ecosystem processes due to their involvement in organic matter dynamics, nutrient cycling, decomposition of organo-pollutants and soil formation by rock weathering. Characterizing microbial diversity and activity in soils, would enable a better management of the soil ecosystem functions, because the ability of an ecosystem to withstand serious disturbances may be reflected in its microbial component. How soil microbial activities and communities are affected by anthropogenic and environmental perturbations in semiarid alluvial regions of Indian subcontinent, which occupy about 37 % of the total geographic area of the country, is not well understood. The present study investigated the effect of anthropogenic and environmental parameters on soil microbial activity and diversity in semiarid alluvial soils (developed on River sediment) around Mahi River region, western India. The soils along the region studied are well characterized geomorphologically and presented several unique features that are of interest in studying from a microbiological point of view. First, the alluvial soils have been dated and can be classified as relatively recent and older (last 30 ka to 45 ka) ; secondly, they have been mapped as agriculturally fertile or badlands, some of them of same chronological age and of common sediment origin ; third, there are certain spots along the estuarine part of the river where treated industrial effluent is discharged in to the water bodies ; fourth, some regions along the river margin have succumbed to seasonal floods and suffer regular inundation ; lastly several exposed sections of the sediments up to several meters in depth are accessible which have been extensively characterized geochemically and geomorphologically and stratigraphy correlated with chronological dating of the sedimentation events is available. These exposed sections allowed access to deeper and older sediments many of which are buried soils or palaeosols. Several of the features of the region under study have been exploited in this work to compare microbiological activity and diversity and provided an opportunity to investigate different geomorphologic settings under a single climatic zone (semiarid). Further, the study was extended to coastal soils developed on carbonated rocks under same climatic zone wherein the microbial weathering of parental rock “miliolite” was studied.

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