de Vries, Franciska T; Hofland, Ellis; van Eekeren, Nick; Brussaard, Lijbert and Bloem, Jaap (2006) Fungal/bacterial ratios in grasslands with contrasting nitrogen management. Soil Biology &Biochemistry (38), pp. 2092-2103.
It is frequently hypothesised that high soil fungal/bacterial ratios are indicative for more sustainable agricultural systems.Increased F/B ratios have been reported in extensively managed grasslands.To determine the shifts in fungal/bacterial biomass ratio as in ﬂuenced by grassland management and to ﬁnd relations with nitrogen leaching potential,we sampled a two-year-old ﬁeld experiment at an organic experimental farm in the eastern part of The Netherlands.The effect of crop (grass and grass-clover),N application rate (0, 40, 80,120 kg N/ha 1 )and manure type (no manure,farm yard manure and slurry)on the F / B ratio within three growing seasons was tested, as well as relations with soil and crop characteristics,nitrate leaching and partial N balance. Biomass of fungi and bacteria was calculated after direct counts using epi ﬂuorescence microscopy. Fungal and bacterial biomass and the F B ratio were higher in grass than in grass-clover.The F/B ratio decreased with increasing N application rate and multiple regression analysis revealed a negative relationship with pH. Bacterial activity (measured as incorporation of [3H]thymidine and [14C]leucine into bacterial DNA and proteins)showed the exact opposite:an increase with N application rate and pH. Leaching increased with N application rate and was higher in grass-clover than in grass. Partial N balance was more positive at a higher N application rate and showed an inverse relationship with fungal biomass and F/B ratio.We conclude that the fungal/bacterial biomass ratio quickly responded to changes in management. Grasslands with higher N input showed lower F/B ratios.Grass-clover had a smaller fungal biomass and higher N leaching than grass.In general,a higher fungal biomass indicated a lower nitrogen leaching and a more negative partial N balance (or smaller N surplus), but more observations are needed to con ﬁrm the relationship between F/B ratio and sustainability.
|EPrint Type:||Journal paper|
|Subjects:||Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology|
|Research affiliation:|| Netherlands > Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR|
Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Netherlands > Wageningen University and Research Centre WUR > Research Institute for the Green World Alterra
|Deposited By:||Steinbuch, Luc|
|Deposited On:||24 Oct 2006|
|Last Modified:||12 Apr 2010 07:34|
|Refereed:||Peer-reviewed and accepted|
Repository Staff Only: item control page