Citation: Walkiewicz, A.; Bulak, P.; Brzezińska, M.; Khalil, M.I.; Osborne, B. Variations in Soil Properties and CO 2 Emissions of a Temperate Forest Gully Soil along a Topographical Gradient. Forests 2021, 12, 226. https://doi.
Understanding the functioning of different forest ecosystems is important due to their key role in strategies for climate change mitigation, especially through soil C sequestration. In controlled laboratory conditions, we conducted a preliminary study on six different forest soils (two coniferous, two deciduous, and two mixed sites comprising trees of different ages) collected from the same region. The aim was to explore any differences and assess seasonal changes in soil microbial parameters (basal respiration BR, microbial biomass Cmic, metabolic quotient qCO2, dehydrogenase activity DHA, and Cmic:Corg ratio). Indicator- and forest-specific seasonality was assessed. In addition to litter input, soil parameters (pH, nutrient content, texture and moisture) strongly regulated the analyzed microbial indicators. PCA analysis indicated similarity between mature mixed and deciduous forests. Among annual mean values, high Cmic and DHA with simultaneously low qCO2 suggest that the mature deciduous stand was the most sustainable in microbial activities among the investigated forest soils. Research on the interrelationship between soil parameters and forest types with different tree ages needs to be continued and extended to analyze a greater number of forest and soil types.