iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Influences of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) afforestation on soil microbial biomass and activity

Ilyas Bolat (1)   , Ömer Kara (2), Hüseyin Sensoy (3), Kivanç Yüksel (4)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 171-177 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1410-007
Published: Feb 16, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Short Communications

Black locust is a tree species considered suitable for afforestation in Turkey because of its rapid growth and ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen in disturbed soil ecosystems. Quantitative indicators of soil health and quality can be usefully derived from a data set of soil physical, chemical and microbial characteristics. In this study changes in soil characteristics after afforestation with black locust were assessed by comparing several afforestation sites with control (no vegetation) sites randomly chosen along the roadside in Ulus-Bartin, the western Black Sea region (Turkey). Results showed that some physical and chemical characteristics of the soil (soil bulk density, clay content, soil organic C and total N) were higher at the afforestation sites as compared with the control sites. Similarly, afforestation sites showed higher values for mean soil microbial biomass C (afforestation: 311.97 µg g-1;control: 149.68 µg g-1) and N (afforestation: 43.07 µg g-1; control: 19.21 µg g-1), and basal respiration (afforestation: 0.303 µg CO2-C g-1 h-1; control: 0.167 µg CO2-C g-1 h-1). However, the mean metabolic quotient (qCO2) assessed at the control sites was higher (1.47 mg CO2-C g-1 Cmic h-1) than that observed the afforestation sites (0.96 mg CO2-C g-1 Cmic h-1), likely due to difficulties in the utilization of organic substrates by the microbial community. In addition, the correlation between the qCO2 and Cmic/Corg percentages was negative (r = - 0.586, P < 0.01) in both sites. Our results indicated that afforestation with black locust could be advantageous, not only for soil improvement and regeneration, but also for sustainable land management.


Basal Respiration, Cmic/Corg Percentage, Cmic/Nmic Ratio, Metabolic Quotient (qCO2), Nitrogen Fixation

Authors’ address

Ilyas Bolat
Bartin University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Division of Soil Science and Ecology, Bartin (Turkey)
Ömer Kara
Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Division of Watershed Management, Trabzon (Turkey)
Hüseyin Sensoy
Bartin University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Division of Watershed Management, Bartin (Turkey)
Kivanç Yüksel
Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Engineering, Kahramanmaras (Turkey)

Corresponding author



Bolat I, Kara Ö, Sensoy H, Yüksel K (2015). Influences of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) afforestation on soil microbial biomass and activity. iForest 9: 171-177. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1410-007

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: Jul 27, 2014
Accepted: Oct 16, 2014

First online: Feb 16, 2015
Publication Date: Feb 21, 2016
Publication Time: 4.10 months

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