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Improving Crop Yield and Nutrient Use Efficiency via Biofertilization - A Global Meta-analysis

Schütz, Lukas; Gattinger, Andreas; Meier, Matthias; Müller, Adrian; Boller, Thomas; Mäder, Paul and Mathimaran, Natarajan (2018) Improving Crop Yield and Nutrient Use Efficiency via Biofertilization - A Global Meta-analysis. Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 8:2204, pp. 1-13.

[thumbnail of schuuetz-etal-2018-FrontPlantSci-8-2204-p1-13.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2017.02204/full


The application of microbial inoculants (biofertilizers) is a promising technology for future sustainable farming systems in view of rapidly decreasing phosphorus stocks and the need to more efficiently use available nitrogen (N). Various microbial taxa are currently used as biofertilizers, based on their capacity to access nutrients from fertilizers and soil stocks, to fix atmospheric nitrogen, to improve water uptake or to act as biocontrol agents. Despite the existence of a considerable knowledge on effects of specific taxa of biofertilizers, a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the performance of biofertilizers with different traits such as phosphorus solubilization and N fixation applied to various crops at a global scale is missing. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify benefits of biofertilizers in terms of yield increase, nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency, based on 171 peer reviewed publications that met eligibility criteria. Major findings are: (i) the superiority of biofertilizer performance in dry climates over other climatic regions (yield response: dry climate +20.0 ± 1.7%, tropical climate +14.9 ± 1.2%, oceanic climate +10.0 ± 3.7%, continental climate +8.5 ± 2.4%); (ii) meta-regression analyses revealed that yield response due to biofertilizer application was generally small at low soil P levels; efficacy increased along higher soil P levels in the order arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), P solubilizers, and N fixers; (iii) meta-regressions showed that the success of inoculation with AMF was greater at low organic matter content and at neutral pH. Our comprehensive analysis provides a basis and guidance for proper choice and application of biofertilizers.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:meta-analysis, biofertilizer, microbial inoculants, agricultural productivity, nitrogen use efficiency, phosphorus use efficiency, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, PGPR, BIOFECTOR, FiBL10068
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Research affiliation: Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Economics & market
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Related Links:http://www.biofector.org, http://www.fibl.org/en/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/621.html
Deposited By: Muller, Adrian
ID Code:32536
Deposited On:16 Jan 2018 13:24
Last Modified:06 Apr 2022 14:25
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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