Microbial diversity considerations need to be included in soil quality investigations of agricultural lands (Kennedy and Papendick, 1995). Soil quality is critical to the functioning of any ecosystem (Papendick and Parr, 1992). The quality of a soil can greatly impact land use, sustainability, and productivity. Soil quality, the inherent characteristic of a soil, comprises physical, chemical, and biological properties. These properties may be altered through intensive management practices. Reduction in aboveground plant diversity that occurs with severe disturbance, such as tillage, overgrazing, and pollutants, may decrease microbial diversity (Gochenauer, 1981; Boddy et al., 1988; Christensen, 1989).
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