Soil Microbial Biomass and Respiration of MCSE Baseline Study — Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)

Data in the KBS LTER core database may not be published without written permission of the lead investigator or project director Full terms of use

Biomass C, respiration and population counts of soil microbial communities in surface soils (0-15 cm) sampled in 1988 at an array of geo-referenced points across the LTER Main Site prior to establishment of the MCSE.

This datatable is part of the Baseline Spatial Variability Study—Main Cropping System Experiment dataset.

This dataset contains the results of a spatial variability study conducted across the KBS LTER Main Site (48 ha) prior to establishment of the 1-ha treatment plots of the Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE). During the 1988 growing season, the site was uniformly planted to a single variety of soybeans and a stratified unaligned sampling scheme was used to collect 400-600 geo-referenced samples across the site. Samples were analyzed for:

  1. geomorphology (elevation, soil bulk density and texture);
  2. soil chemistry (moisture, pH, inorganic N, total C and N);
  3. soil biology (microbial biomass C, respiration, and population size; N mineralization potentials; nematode counts by feeding type; seed bank);
  4. primary production (soybean biomass, soybean C and N).

Most soil samples (0-15 cm) were taken before crop emergence; plant biomass samples were taken at physiological maturity. Dried soil and plant samples were archived for potential future analysis.

Data in this dataset are summarized in the publication:
Robertson, G. P., K. M. Klingensmith, M. J. Klug, E. A. Paul, J. R. Crum, and B. G. Ellis. 1997. Soil resources, microbial activity, and primary production across an agricultural ecosystem. Ecological Applications 7:158-170.[0158:SRMAAP]2.0.CO;2


Experiment: Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)
Data available from: January 1988
Dataset: KBS003
Datatable ID: KBS003-004.83
Core Areas Populations,Organic Matter,Disturbance
Repository link:
Related Tables:
Last Updated 2023-10-24
Variate Description Units
year year that the observation was made
easting easting of the sample location in UTM 16N
northing northing of the sample location in UTM 16N
organisms g number of microbes per gram of soil
microbial respiration microbial respiration in ng C/gram/day
microbial biomass microbial biomass in ug C/g soil μg/g
organisms m2 number of microbes on areal basis in number per square meter
microbial respiration m2 microbial respiration on areal basis in mg C per square meter per day mg/m2/day
microbial biomass m2 microbial biomass on areal basis in mg C per square meter

Data Excerpt

year easting northing organisms_g microbial_respiration microbial_biomass organisms_m2 microbial_respiration_m2 microbial_biomass_m2
1988 633981 4696121 23000000 588.8 14.69 5179999828338.623 132.5 3.31
1988 634280 4696128 16000000 434.0 76.52 3599999904632.5684 97.6 16.99
1988 634081 4696127 22500000 610.1 96.71 5059999942779.541 137.3 19.0
1988 633913 4696126 72000000 591.0 89.71 16200000762939.453 133.0 14.26
1988 633914 4696128 40500000 387.2 128.08 9109999656677.246 87.1 20.75
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