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      Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

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      Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
      Elsevier BV

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          Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming.

          An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.
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            Microbial diversity determines the invasion of soil by a bacterial pathogen.

            Natural ecosystems show variable resistance to invasion by alien species, and this resistance can relate to the species diversity in the system. In soil, microorganisms are key components that determine life support functions, but the functional redundancy in the microbiota of most soils has long been thought to overwhelm microbial diversity-function relationships. We here show an inverse relationship between soil microbial diversity and survival of the invading species Escherichia coli O157:H7, assessed by using the marked derivative strain T. The invader's fate in soil was determined in the presence of (i) differentially constructed culturable bacterial communities, and (ii) microbial communities established using a dilution-to-extinction approach. Both approaches revealed a negative correlation between the diversity of the soil microbiota and survival of the invader. The relationship could be explained by a decrease in the competitive ability of the invader in species-rich vs. species-poor bacterial communities, reflected in the amount of resources used and the rate of their consumption. Soil microbial diversity is a key factor that controls the extent to which bacterial invaders can establish.
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              SOM genesis: microbial biomass as a significant source

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
                Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
                Elsevier BV
                18773435
                November 2012
                November 2012
                : 4
                : 5
                : 523-528
                Article
                10.1016/j.cosust.2012.06.004
                b0c056af-f7b5-4be7-a65c-6cffe7f6c815
                © 2012

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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