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ABSTRACT: A stable plant cover is essential in the semi-arid soils of the Mediterranean area to maintain their fertility and functionality.
In a semi-arid area, we have studied abundance, structure, and presence of active species of fungal communities of a devegetated
soil (disturbed soil) and vegetated soil (undisturbed soil). Disturbed soil was covered by small spontaneous vegetation (5–10%)
compared to undisturbed soils (70%), and this decreased the content of the total organic C, microbial biomass, microbial activity
(adenosine triphosphate), and fungal counts. The composition and activities of fungal communities were also investigated by
direct extraction of DNA and RNA from soil. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of 18S ribosomal DNA and 18S
ribosomal RNA profiles indicated that total and active fungal communities were changed after vegetation removal.
Biology and Fertility of Soils 04/2012; 45(4):435-441. · 2.51 Impact Factor