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Effects of simulated drought on biological soil quality, microbial diversity and yields under long-term conventional and organic agriculture

Kundel, Dominika ; Bodenhausen, Natacha ; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht LU ; Truu, Jaak ; Birkhofer, Klaus LU ; Hedlund, Katarina LU ; Mäder, Paul and Fliessbach, Andreas (2020) In FEMS Microbiology Ecology 96(12).
Abstract

Drought and agricultural management influence soil microorganisms with unknown consequences for the functioning of agroecosystems. We simulated drought periods in organic (biodynamic) and conventional wheat fields and monitored effects on soil water content, microorganisms and crops. Above the wilting point, water content and microbial respiration were higher under biodynamic than conventional farming. Highest bacterial and fungal abundances were found in biodynamically managed soils, and distinct microbial communities characterised the farming systems. Most biological soil quality parameters and crop yields were only marginally affected by the experimental drought, except for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which increased in... (More)

Drought and agricultural management influence soil microorganisms with unknown consequences for the functioning of agroecosystems. We simulated drought periods in organic (biodynamic) and conventional wheat fields and monitored effects on soil water content, microorganisms and crops. Above the wilting point, water content and microbial respiration were higher under biodynamic than conventional farming. Highest bacterial and fungal abundances were found in biodynamically managed soils, and distinct microbial communities characterised the farming systems. Most biological soil quality parameters and crop yields were only marginally affected by the experimental drought, except for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which increased in abundance under the experimental drought in both farming systems. AMF were further strongly promoted by biodynamic farming resulting in almost three times higher AMF abundance under experimental drought in the biodynamic compared with the conventional farming system. Our data suggest an improved water storage capacity under biodynamic farming and confirms positive effects of biodynamic farming on biological soil quality. The interactive effects of the farming system and drought may further be investigated under more substantial droughts. Given the importance of AMF for the plant's water supply, more in-depth studies on AMF may help to clarify their role for yields under conditions predicted by future climate scenarios.

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author
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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
amplicon-based sequencing, DOK trial, microbial diversity, PLFA, rainout shelter, soil organic carbon
in
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
volume
96
issue
12
article number
fiaa205
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • pmid:33016314
  • scopus:85097003388
ISSN
1574-6941
DOI
10.1093/femsec/fiaa205
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5ecdb073-d2c1-4066-94ce-99de49c4e89a
date added to LUP
2020-12-11 09:35:49
date last changed
2021-04-13 03:57:47
@article{5ecdb073-d2c1-4066-94ce-99de49c4e89a,
  abstract     = {<p>Drought and agricultural management influence soil microorganisms with unknown consequences for the functioning of agroecosystems. We simulated drought periods in organic (biodynamic) and conventional wheat fields and monitored effects on soil water content, microorganisms and crops. Above the wilting point, water content and microbial respiration were higher under biodynamic than conventional farming. Highest bacterial and fungal abundances were found in biodynamically managed soils, and distinct microbial communities characterised the farming systems. Most biological soil quality parameters and crop yields were only marginally affected by the experimental drought, except for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which increased in abundance under the experimental drought in both farming systems. AMF were further strongly promoted by biodynamic farming resulting in almost three times higher AMF abundance under experimental drought in the biodynamic compared with the conventional farming system. Our data suggest an improved water storage capacity under biodynamic farming and confirms positive effects of biodynamic farming on biological soil quality. The interactive effects of the farming system and drought may further be investigated under more substantial droughts. Given the importance of AMF for the plant's water supply, more in-depth studies on AMF may help to clarify their role for yields under conditions predicted by future climate scenarios.</p>},
  author       = {Kundel, Dominika and Bodenhausen, Natacha and Jørgensen, Helene Bracht and Truu, Jaak and Birkhofer, Klaus and Hedlund, Katarina and Mäder, Paul and Fliessbach, Andreas},
  issn         = {1574-6941},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {FEMS Microbiology Ecology},
  title        = {Effects of simulated drought on biological soil quality, microbial diversity and yields under long-term conventional and organic agriculture},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa205},
  doi          = {10.1093/femsec/fiaa205},
  volume       = {96},
  year         = {2020},
}