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Soil biota in grassland, its ecosystem services and the impact of management

van Eekeren, N.; Murray, P.J. and Smeding, F.W. (2007) Soil biota in grassland, its ecosystem services and the impact of management. In: de Vliegher, A. and Carlier, L. (Eds.) Grassland Science in Europe, 12, pp. 247-257.

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In the search for sustainable grassland systems, self-regulating processes in the soil become increasingly important. Soil biota play an important role in these processes and in the provision of various ecosystem services. For grassland systems important ecosystem services are supply of nutrients, soil structure maintenance and water retention. For developing and optimising sustainable grassland systems, insight is needed into the mechanisms by which soil biota are influenced by management and what it means for the functioning of the soil-plant system. Interactions between soil and plants can be represented by a cyclic conceptual framework including plant/roots, soil biota and soil properties. The challenge for sustainable grassland is to allow this cycle to function optimally with a minimum of external inputs. In these systems the soil food web is probably bacterial-based with a high density of earthworms. The impacts of grassland management on soil biota are discussed on the basis of two cases: use of grass-clover mixtures and a ley-arable crop rotation versus permanent grassland and continuous arable land.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:grassland, management, soil biota, ecosystem services
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: UK > Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER)
Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Deposited By: Steinbuch, Luc
ID Code:11112
Deposited On:24 Sep 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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