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Fungal and bacterial growth following the application of slurry and anaerobic digestate of livestock manure to temperate pasture soils

Walsh, John J.; Rousk, Johannes LU ; Edwards-Jones, Gareth; Jones, Davey L. and Williams, A. Prysor (2012) In Biology and Fertility of Soils 48(8). p.889-897
Abstract
How land-application of digestate sourced from anaerobic digestion (AD) of animal waste influences the functioning of a mixed pasture agroecosystem is not well characterised, particularly with regard to the response of the actively growing microbial community. We studied the impact of the liquid AD digestate on the decomposer community in two different soils, seeded with two different common grassland crops; a mixture of either grass or grass/clover in a greenhouse experiment. We studied bacterial (leucine incorporation into bacteria) and fungal (acetate incorporation into ergosterol) growth responses to AD cattle slurry digestate, undigested cattle slurry, mineral fertiliser (NPK and N) added at a rate equivalent to 150 kg N ha(-1), and a... (More)
How land-application of digestate sourced from anaerobic digestion (AD) of animal waste influences the functioning of a mixed pasture agroecosystem is not well characterised, particularly with regard to the response of the actively growing microbial community. We studied the impact of the liquid AD digestate on the decomposer community in two different soils, seeded with two different common grassland crops; a mixture of either grass or grass/clover in a greenhouse experiment. We studied bacterial (leucine incorporation into bacteria) and fungal (acetate incorporation into ergosterol) growth responses to AD cattle slurry digestate, undigested cattle slurry, mineral fertiliser (NPK and N) added at a rate equivalent to 150 kg N ha(-1), and a no-fertiliser control treatment. Differences in fungal and bacterial growth were evident between the soil and sward types. However, the fertilisers consistently stimulated a higher bacterial growth than the no-fertiliser control, and liquid digestate resulted in a level of bacterial growth higher or equal to that of mineral fertiliser, whilst undigested slurry resulted in lower bacterial growth. These fertiliser effects on bacterial growth mirrored the effects on plant growth. In contrast, the fungal community responded only marginally to fertiliser treatments. We conclude that the application of digestate stimulates the bacterial decomposer community in a similar way to that of mineral fertilisers. Our results suggest that mineral fertiliser can be exchanged for liquid digestate with limited impact on the actively growing soil microbial community that, in turn, regulate important soil processes including nutrient cycling in agricultural soils. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Animal waste, Biogas, Grassland, Decomposer ecology, Green fertiliser, Legume, Microbial ecology, Plant nutrition, Soil fertility
in
Biology and Fertility of Soils
volume
48
issue
8
pages
889 - 897
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000310377800003
  • scopus:84868367809
ISSN
0178-2762
DOI
10.1007/s00374-012-0681-6
project
Effect of environmental factors on fungal and bacterial growth in soil
Microbial carbon-use efficiency
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5b3de75a-b066-4ea6-85a6-e56cc0ea1a7c (old id 3283486)
date added to LUP
2012-12-20 11:18:11
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:09:45
@article{5b3de75a-b066-4ea6-85a6-e56cc0ea1a7c,
  abstract     = {How land-application of digestate sourced from anaerobic digestion (AD) of animal waste influences the functioning of a mixed pasture agroecosystem is not well characterised, particularly with regard to the response of the actively growing microbial community. We studied the impact of the liquid AD digestate on the decomposer community in two different soils, seeded with two different common grassland crops; a mixture of either grass or grass/clover in a greenhouse experiment. We studied bacterial (leucine incorporation into bacteria) and fungal (acetate incorporation into ergosterol) growth responses to AD cattle slurry digestate, undigested cattle slurry, mineral fertiliser (NPK and N) added at a rate equivalent to 150 kg N ha(-1), and a no-fertiliser control treatment. Differences in fungal and bacterial growth were evident between the soil and sward types. However, the fertilisers consistently stimulated a higher bacterial growth than the no-fertiliser control, and liquid digestate resulted in a level of bacterial growth higher or equal to that of mineral fertiliser, whilst undigested slurry resulted in lower bacterial growth. These fertiliser effects on bacterial growth mirrored the effects on plant growth. In contrast, the fungal community responded only marginally to fertiliser treatments. We conclude that the application of digestate stimulates the bacterial decomposer community in a similar way to that of mineral fertilisers. Our results suggest that mineral fertiliser can be exchanged for liquid digestate with limited impact on the actively growing soil microbial community that, in turn, regulate important soil processes including nutrient cycling in agricultural soils.},
  author       = {Walsh, John J. and Rousk, Johannes and Edwards-Jones, Gareth and Jones, Davey L. and Williams, A. Prysor},
  issn         = {0178-2762},
  keyword      = {Animal waste,Biogas,Grassland,Decomposer ecology,Green fertiliser,Legume,Microbial ecology,Plant nutrition,Soil fertility},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {889--897},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Biology and Fertility of Soils},
  title        = {Fungal and bacterial growth following the application of slurry and anaerobic digestate of livestock manure to temperate pasture soils},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00374-012-0681-6},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2012},
}