Some soil properties respond relatively rapidly to land use and soil management changes, which makes these suitable to serve as soil quality indicators . For instance, the light, labile fraction of soil organic matter, dissolved C and N contents, soil microbial biomass and activity, and bacterial diversity, have all been find more proposed to represent suitable early warning indicators of soil quality degradation or improvement [2, 11, 19–23]. However, we are far from having a consolidated set of soil quality indicators, which might allow such monitoring across a range of different soils [24, 25]. Specific groups, such as ammonia oxidizing and denitrifying bacteria, play
basic roles in the N cycling. The study of these groups is very important, mainly in agricultural soil, since nitrification coupled with denitrification are major sources of soil N loss. The use of molecular tools targeting key genes such as amoA and nirK have been widely used to improve the knowledge about this issue. Their
ecology can be more readily understood by exploring the abundance and diversity of key marker genes than through cultivation based approaches . The great majority of studies on effects of different cropping selleck chemicals systems evaluates just one or a few parameters in soil; thus, stable isotopes are used to better understand C and N dynamics , bacterial communities to establish soil quality bioindicators  and greenhouse gas fluxes to
evaluate impacts on global warming . On top of this, there is a paucity of of knowledge with regard to parameters that might serve as quality indicators for Cerrado soil under sugarcane cultivation, that is, what parameters might serve as quality indicators. Since physical, chemical and biological factors in soil are not independent from each other, it is eFT508 purchase important to evaluate them together in one system and to attempt to establish the links between them. The main goal of our study was therefore to evaluate the impact of the different management strategies of sugarcane (burnt cane and green cane) on the soil chemical, biological and physical properties (including GHG flow) and to analyze the relationships between these features. Methods Field site The study area (17° 55′ 35″” S 50° 08′ 36″” W) was located in the municipality of Porteirão, state of Goiás, Brazil. The region´s climate is classified as Aw (Köppen), with annual average rainfalls exceeding 1500 mm year-1 and annual average air temperatures of 23.1°C. The soil type is a eutrophic Latossolo vermelho (Ferralsols), which is characterized by high levels of base saturation (>50%). Although the area was very flat, petroplinthite (lateritic nodules or concretions) were found in the subsurface, which may restrict drainage and exhibits a concretionary character. The field had been previously used for cotton, soy and sunflower production, and was converted to sugarcane cultivation in 2002.