Author(s): Hartmann M, Fliessbach A, Oberholzer HR, Widmer F
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Abstract Biological soil characteristics such as microbial biomass, community structures, activities, and functions may provide important information on environmental and anthropogenic influences on agricultural soils. Diagnostic tools and detailed statistical approaches need to be developed for a reliable evaluation of these parameters, in order to allow classification and quantification of the magnitude of such effects. The DOK long-term agricultural field experiment was initiated in 1978 in Switzerland for the evaluation of organic and conventional farming practices. It includes three representative Swiss farming systems with biodynamic, bio-organic and conventional fertilization and plant protection schemes along with minerally fertilized and unfertilized controls. Effects on microbial soil characteristics induced by the long-term management at two different stages in the crop rotation, i.e. winter wheat after potato or corn, were investigated by analyzing soil bacterial community structures using analysis of PCR-amplified rRNA genes by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Application of farmyard manure consistently revealed the strongest influence on bacterial community structures and biomass contents. Effects of management and plant protection regimes occurred on an intermediate level, while the two stages in the crop rotation had a marginal influence that was not significant.
This article was published in FEMS Microbiol Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science