This study investigated the bacterial communities in soils of three different managements - lawn managed chemically, vegetable garden following organic practices, and unmanaged forest - on the Furman University campus in South Carolina. We hypothesized that the bacterial community in the organically managed soil would be most diverse and that the three bacterial community compositions would differ at least at the family taxonomic level. We took two approaches: culture-dependent and culture-independent. The culture-dependent approach revealed that the bacterial community in the organically managed soil was the most morphologically diverse and the one in the non-managed soil was the least. The Sorenson's coefficient for community similarity showed low similarity between these three bacterial communities. The culture-independent approach revealed that, based on Simpson's diversity indices comparing the bacterial communities at the family level, the bacterial community in the organically managed soil was the most diverse and the one in the chemically managed soil was the least. Additionally, Sorenson's coefficient for community similarity revealed low community similarity between these three bacterial communities. Results from both approaches suggested that the bacterial communities in soil of different managements differ in both composition and diversity and that the bacterial communities are most diverse in organically managed soil.
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Vol. 90 • No. 2