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Are soil biological properties and microbial community structure altered by organic farm management?

Stark, Dr C.H. (2008) Are soil biological properties and microbial community structure altered by organic farm management? Poster at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research ISOFAR, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

Environmental conditions and farm management practices have a considerable impact on soil biota, affecting nutrient cycling processes and ecosystem functioning. Understanding how management practices influence soil fertility and agricultural productivity is essential to improve the sustainability of agroecosystems. The effect of farming history on microbial soil properties was assessed by analysing soil samples from two organic and conventionally managed sites. Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, bacterial community composition (PCR-DGGE) and total numbers of fungi and bacteria (soil dilution plating) were determined. Results suggested that organic farming practices did not have a clear positive effect on soil microbial biomass and activity; distinct differences in bacterial community composition were detected by PCR-DGGE but not by soil dilution plating. Findings indicate that practices commonly associated with conventional farming (application of mineral fertilisers or pesticides) have a less pronounced effect on the soil microbial community than other management techniques (e.g. manure application and crop rotation).


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:farming techniques; DGGE; enzyme activity; soil dilution plating; arginine deaminase; fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis; long-term farm management; soil microbial community structure; microbial biomass; microbial activity; organic and conventional management
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: UK
International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 2.1 Soil fertility
Deposited By: Stark, Christine H
ID Code:11557
Deposited On:06 Oct 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:This paper is published in the conference proceedings:
Neuhoff, Daniel; Halberg, Niels; Alfldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lck, Lorna; Carporali, Fabio; Jensen, Henning Hgh; Migliorini, Paola and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2008) .Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 . 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy.. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o IOL, DE-Bonn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick. http://orgprints.org/13672 and http://orgprints.org/13674

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