Do bacterial and fungal communities in soils of the Bolivian Altiplano change under shorter fallow periods?
Gonzales, Miguel Angel
Motavalli, Peter P.
Garrett, Karen A.
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Leaving fields fallow can improve soil fertility, but there is limited information on the effect of fallowing on soil microbiology. This article presents a study of soil fungal and bacterial properties in fallowed land in the Umala and Ancoriames municipalities of the Bolivian altiplano. The study tested the influence of fallowing, and of the presence of the native plant Thola, on fungal and bacterial populations. In Ancroaimes, fungal diversity increased with fallowing, while in Umala fungal diversity decreased with fallowing. Conversely, bacterial diversity with fallowing decreased in Ancoraimes and increased in Umala. The presence of Thola did not alter the level of diversity, but did result in higher populations of certain genera. Although these results demonstrate a variety of responses to fallowing, they establish its significance on bacterial and fungal populations