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Organic management enhances soil quality and drives microbial community diversity in cocoa production systems

Lori, Martina; Armengot, Laura; Schneider, Monika; Schneidewind, Ulf; Bodenhausen, Natacha; Mäder, Paul and Krause, Hans-Martin (2022) Organic management enhances soil quality and drives microbial community diversity in cocoa production systems. Science of The Total Environment, 843 (155223), pp. 1-11.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969722023166?via%3Dihub


Summary

Maintaining soil quality for agricultural production is a critical challenge, especially in the tropics. Due to the focus on environmental performance and the provision of soil ecosystem services, organic farming and agroforestry systems are proposed as alternative options to conventional monoculture farming. Soil processes underlying ecosystem services are strongly mediated by microbes; thus, increased understanding of the soil microbiome is crucial for the development of sustainable agricultural practices. Therefore, we measured and related soil quality indicators to bacterial and fungal community structures in five cocoa production systems, managed either organically or conventionally for 12 years, with varying crop diversity, from monoculture to agroforestry. In addition, a successional agroforestry system was included, which uses exclusively on-site pruning residues as soil inputs. Organic management increased soil organic carbon, nitrogen and labile carbon contents compared to conventional. Soil basal respiration and nitrogen mineralisation rates were highest in the successional agroforestry system. Across the field sites, fungal richness exceeded bacterial richness and fungal community composition was distinct between organic and conventional management, as well as between agroforestry and monoculture. Bacterial community composition differed mainly between organic and conventional management. Indicator species associated with organic management were taxonomically more diverse compared to taxa associated with conventionally managed systems. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of organic management for maintaining soil quality in agroforestry systems for cocoa production.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic farming, Agroforestry, Soil quality, Soil bacteria, Soil fungi, Long-term field trial, System comparison, Cocoa production systems, Abacus, FiBL10118
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
organic farming -> organic agriculture
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15911
English
soil quality
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_a9645d28
English
long-term experiments
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_4f8733aa
English
cocoa (plant) -> Theobroma cacao
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7713
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Soil > Soil quality
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Cocoa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics > Langzeitversuche
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics > Systems comparison
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Soil quality
Germany > University of Göttingen
DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155223
Related Links:https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/1548
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:44426
Deposited On:31 Aug 2022 09:51
Last Modified:31 Aug 2022 09:55
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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