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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 247401, 12 pages
Research Article

Thermal Characteristics and Bacterial Diversity of Forest Soil in the Haean Basin of Korea

1School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Republic of Korea
2Department of Geology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea

Received 14 July 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014; Published 10 November 2014

Academic Editor: Wen-Jun Li

Copyright © 2014 Heejung Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To predict biotic responses to disturbances in forest environments, it is important to examine both the thermophysical properties of forest soils and the diversity of microorganisms that these soils contain. To predict the effects of climate change on forests, in particular, it is essential to understand the interactions between the soil surface, the air, and the biological diversity in the soil. In this study, the temperature and thermal properties of forest soil at three depths at a site in the Haean basin of Korea were measured over a period of four months. Metagenomic analyses were also carried out to ascertain the diversity of microorganisms inhabiting the soil. The thermal diffusivity of the soil at the study site was 5.9 × 10−8 m2·s−1. The heat flow through the soil resulted from the cooling and heating processes acting on the surface layers of the soils. The heat productivity in the soil varied through time. The phylum Proteobacteria predominated at all three soil depths, with members of Proteobacteria forming a substantial fraction (25.64 to 39.29%). The diversity and richness of microorganisms in the soil were both highest at the deepest depth, 90 cm, where the soil temperature fluctuation was the minimum.