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Volume XVII |

The analysis of relationship between microclimate and microbial carbon-dioxide production in the soils of the Tapolca and Gömör-Tornai karst terrains, Hungary

Abstract: In the karst areas, the epikarst system is a very sensitive environment, due to its position at the interface between soil and vadose zone. The epikarst is a weathered zone that develops as a result of both abiotic and biotic processes. In this paper we present the result of the complex investigations of epikarst zone which overlap dolines within two typical karst areas (Gömör-Torna and Tapolca) from Hungary, based on multicriteria analysis techniques (microbiological activity assessed as biomass amount and CO2 production, seasonality of air and soil microclimate, slope orientation and exposition), in order to reveal control factors of karst processes, the territorial and local distinctions of karst dissolution that occur in the epikarst zone. The data were compared, taking into account the human activities’ impact on both sampled study areas. After four years of monitoring, the results show that there are significant seasonal and diurnal variations of physical, chemical and biotic parameters of soil that cover and affect the epikarst zone. Spatial variations of these parameters were recorded as well.