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Ilmari Schalin (email)

Some factors affecting the quantitative determination of aerobic bacteria in forest humus

Schalin I. (1964). Some factors affecting the quantitative determination of aerobic bacteria in forest humus. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 78 no. 1 article id 7154. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7154


Quantitative investigation of bacteria in the humus is needed when the intensity of their function in decomposition in the soil is studied. In this study bacterial density of humus was measured using dilution plate method, which was subjected to thorough investigation. The method was chosen, despite its complexity, because it is quite consistent, each stage can be studied separately and the reliability can be tested. The aim of the study was to determine the best way to take samples so that the sample will represent the bacterial population as closely as possible, and to optimize homogenization and dilution of the sample and the assays.

On the basis of the results of the investigation, a procedure was developed for quantitative determination of aerobic bacteria in the humus by the dilution plate method. The paper recommends that subsamples are collected systematically from at least 25 different points. The moisture and temperature of the samples should remain similar to the natural environment until preparation of the dilution. The sample was homogenized with the Bühler homogenizer, which is constructed so that a certain degree of asepsis can be maintained and the speed of the apparatus can be regulated. The content of the mineral nutrients of the sample must be determined when choosing the way of homogenization to obtain the highest number of colonies per plate. The sample was diluted with either 0.1–0.01% peptone solution or 0.5% soil extract. The most advantageous degree of dilution was obtained by testing with the aid of Fisher’s dispersion index the probability of the Poisson distribution in the results.

decomposition; soil; humus; methods; bacteria; quantitative analysis; dilution plate method

Published in 1964

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Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7154 | Download PDF

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Schalin I., (1964) Some factors affecting the quantitative determin.. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 78 no. 1 article id 7154