Karst areas have great environmental importance as sources of subsurface water and often maintain very sensitive ecosystems. In recent years, increasing number of microbiological studies focused on the bacterial communities of karst soils. In this study, diversity examinations on two distinct Hungarian karst areas, Aggtelek and Tapolca, were performed using parallel cultivation and molecular cloning methods. The phylogenetic affiliation of bacterial strains and molecular clones was determined based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences. Bacterial isolates were identified as members of the phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Besides the taxa identified by cultivation, members of the phyla Chloroflexi, Cyanobacteria, Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Gemmatimonadetes were detected by the cloning. The difference in the composition of soil bacterial communities was related to geographic locations and soil types. Both the highest and the lowest bacterial diversities were detected in samples from Aggtelek National Park, characterized by Leptic Luvisol and Rendzic Leptosol soil types. The difference in the composition of bacterial communities between Rendzic Leptosol and Leptic Phaeozem soil types at Tapolca could be the result of human impacts.
Karst areas belong to the most exposed terrestrial ecosystems, therefore their study have a priority task in Hungary, as well. The aim of this study was to compare the structure, activity and diversity of soil microbial communities from two distinct Hungarian karst areas (Aggtelek NP and Tapolca-basin). Soil samples were taken three times from 6 distinct sites, from different depths. Soil microbial biomass C (MBC), microbial biomass N (MBN), basal respiration (BRESP) and substrate induced respiration (SIR) were measured. The phylogenetic diversity of bacterial communities was compared by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE). The highest MBC, MBN, BRESP and SIR values were measured in the rendzina soil from Aggtelek. On the basis of biomass and respiration measurements, microbial communities differentiated mainly according to soil depths whereas DGGE profiles of bacterial communities resulted in groups mainly according to sampling sites.