Measurement of Soil Microbial Biomass Carbon and Nitrogen


User Benefits

- Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) content can be measured in soil extracts simultaneously and rapidly. - Utilizing the instrument's automatic dilution function can mitigate the effects of soil extract salts on catalysts and combustion tubes. - Multiple samples can be measured automatically by using an ASI-L autosampler.


Organic carbons in soil are decomposed by microbial activity and released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). Numerous research institutions are currently focusing on soil carbon sequestration and the role of microbial activity in the decomposition of organic carbon within the soil. The microbial biomass carbon (MBC) content in soil serves as an indicator of microbial activity and soil carbon dynamics, making it a basic research focus within soilmicrobiology. The chloroform fumigation-extraction method stands out among various methods for quantifying soil biomass due to its high reliability and reproducibility, with minimal influence from soil properties and microbial types. MBC information can be obtained by using a Shimadzu TOC-L total organic carbon analyzer to measure solutions prepared by chloroform fumigation-extraction and correcting for the extraction rate from soil. Additionally, integrating a TNM-L total nitrogen unit with the TOC-L analyzer enables the concurrent measurement of soil microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN). This article describes an example of measuring MBC and MBN in soil using the chloroform fumigation-extraction method with a Shimadzu TOC-L total organic carbon analyzer.

April 2, 2024 GMT

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