Evaluation of functional diversity of soil microbial communities – a case study

https://doi.org/10.17221/4074-PSECitation:Hofman J., Švihálek J., Holoubek I. (2004): Evaluation of functional diversity of soil microbial communities – a case study. Plant Soil Environ., 50: 141-148.
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In our case study, we measured the functional diversity of the microbial communities of twelve soils from the small natural area to assess if this assay is suitable for routine monitoring of soil biological quality. We found the BIOLOG assay meets especially practical benefits in routine monitoring of soils being simple and quick assay. However, we confirmed the ambiguity about the most appropriate analysis of the BIOLOG multivariate data and about the best parameter, which can be derived from the assay. The different analyses of the data were examined and various parameters derived from the BIOLOG assay were comparatively used to contribute to the discussion of how the data should be evaluated. We showed that not-normalized raw absorbances or trapezoid areas should be used for calculation of diversity index if the inoculum was standardized. There was no single answer to what parameter provided more correct results in the multivariate statistical analysis. Evaluating at least one not-normalized (e.g. trapezoid area) and one normalized parameter (e.g. absorbances read in fixed AWCD) was strongly suggested keeping in mind that they reveal different information.
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