Current issue: 56(4)
The purpose of this investigation was to obtain a preliminary picture of the composition of the microbial population in some virgin soils on forest land in Finland. Four different forest types were studied, Oxalis-Myrtillus type birch (Betula sp.) stand, Oxalis-Myrtillus type Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand, Vaccinium type Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand, and drained pine bog. In addition, a flood meadow was selected as a comparison.
The methods used captured only part of the fungi growing in the soil. Rapidly growing types, especially Mucor and Penicillium species, were mainly isolated. In addition, fungi showing activity of decomposition, such as Fusarium, Monosporium and Spicaria, as well as an ascomycete of the genius Ascobolus, were isolated. Autochthonous bacteria were most abundant in the soils of Oxalis-Myrtillus type forests and in the flood meadow. In the birch stand 90% of the autochthonous bacterial flora were gram-negative bacteria, in the Oxallis-Myrtillus spruce and Vaccinium type pine stand 60% were gram-negative, while the share was only 25% in the pine bog. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the type Clostridium pasteurianum were found in all soils. Actinomycetes were found in all sites. The numbers of protozoa were highest in the soils of Oxalis-Myrtillus type forests.
There were no big differences between the forest soils and the flood meadow. Some groups of micro-organisms seem to be absent from the forest soils, which is probably due to the more favourable pH in the meadow. The occurrence of myxobacteria is interesting since no earlier data exist of this organism in Finnish soils.
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