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Soil quality indicators for intensive vegetable production systems in Java, Indonesia

Moeskops, Bram; Buchan, David; Sukristiyonubowo, -; De Neve, Stefaan; De Gusseme, Bart; Widowati, Ladiyani Retno; Setyorini, Diah and Sleutel, Steven (2012) Soil quality indicators for intensive vegetable production systems in Java, Indonesia. Ecological Indicators, 18, pp. 218-226.

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We explored the value of ergosterol, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles and neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA) 16:15c as soil quality indicators for the intensive systems of vegetable production in the humid tropical climate of West Java, by comparing organic and conventional management. Additionally, we measured dehydrogenase and -glucosidase activity. A secondary forest was included to obtain reference values under undisturbed conditions. Organic and conventional agriculture, and secondary forest each differed in the composition of the microbial community measured by PLFA profiles. Ergosterol appeared not to be universally applicable as a fungal biomarker and in this respect seemed to be inferior compared to PLFA fungal markers. NLFA 16:15c may provide additional information as an indicator of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, but its high variability complicated the interpretation of data. The ratio of cy17:0 to 16:17c was effectively applied as an indicator of physiological stress experienced by the bacterial community. Conventional vegetable production resulted in higher cy17:0/16:17c ratios. Finally, a soil quality index, developed by stepwise canonical discriminant analysis and based on the absolute amount of PLFA 16:0, the relative amount of PLFAs 10Me16:0 and 10Me18:0, and dehydrogenase activity, was successfully validated.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic farming Soil quality Ergosterol PLFA Enzyme activity Indonesia
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation:Belgium > University Ghent (UGent) – (Ghent) > Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Deposited By: Moeskops, Bram
ID Code:20417
Deposited On:23 Jan 2012 10:00
Last Modified:23 Jan 2012 12:59
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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