Applied Soil Ecology

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Application of biostimulants in benzo(a)pyrene polluted soils: Short-time effects on soil biochemical properties

Sat, 2011-09-03 23:14
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 3 September 2011

Manuel, Tejada , Concepción, Benítez , Juan, Parrado

The bioremediation effects of three biostimulants (BS): WCDS, wheat condensed distillers soluble; PAHE, hydrolyzed poultry feathers; and RB, rice bran extract in a soil polluted with two rates of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) (50 or 100mgkg−1 soil, respectively) over 90days were studied. Their effects on the soil biochemical properties (ATP and urease and phosphatase activities) and ergosterol were determined. Also, extractable BaP in soils was determined during the incubation period. An non-polluted and non-organic-amended soil was used as control. The results indicated that at the end of the incubation period and compared with the control soil, the ATP, ergosterol, urease and phosphatase...

 Highlights: ► The use of biostimulants in benzo(a)pyrene polluted soils increased the hydrocarbon degradation. ► This effect caused a decrease in the inhibition of soil biochemical properties. ► This effect was higher when the biostimulant applied had higher percentage of peptides under 0.3kDa.

Diversity of rhizobia in soybean [Glycine max (Vinton)] nodules varies under organic and conventional management

Sat, 2011-09-03 23:14
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 3 September 2011

J.M., Grossman , M.E., Schipanski , T., Sooksanguan , S., Seehaver , L.E., Drinkwater

Legume cultivation is an important nitrogen source for organic farmers, yet we understand little about how organic agriculture affects rhizobia diversity in the field. We investigated how the suite of practices common in certified organic management affect diversity of rhizobia occupying soybean nodules in the field. We used molecular analysis to evaluate genetic diversity and taxonomic relationships among rhizobia strains across two organically and two conventionally managed fields. Nodule presence of inoculant isolates added at planting was also assessed. We found that the organically managed soybean fields contained a greater diversity of rhizobia isolates than conventionally managed fields, resulting in...

 Highlights: ► We analyzed rhizobia found in organic and conventionally managed fields. ► We found increased diversity of rhizobia in organic fields. ► Only one conventional field contained soybean nodules occupied by inoculant rhizobia. ► All fields contained Bradyrhizobium japonicum species and not B. elkanii.

Resistance and resilience of the soil microbial biomass to severe drought in semiarid soils: The importance of organic amendments

Wed, 2011-08-31 23:18
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 31 August 2011

S., Hueso , T., Hernández , C., García

Changes in mean global air temperature and precipitation patterns, leading to longer drought periods and more extremely dry years, are predicted. The objective of this work was to assess whether a long period of severe drought can affect the growth and activity of the microbiota of a semiarid soil, as well as the effect of organic amendments on soil resistance and resilience to this severe drought. A soil incubation experiment was carried out over 60 days, under controlled conditions (25°C and 60/80% day/night relative humidity), with two treatments: unamended (US) and amended (AS) with manure compost (100tha−1). Two levels of...

 Highlights: ► A long period of severe drought can affect the growth and activity of the microbiota of a semiarid soil. ► Organic amendments might influence on soil resistance and resilience to this severe drought. ► A 2-month drought seems insufficient to destroy the native soil microbial biomass. ► The N cycle is affected more than the C cycle by water stress. ► The new microbial biomass provided by organic amendments is more sensitive to water stress.

Editorial Advisory Board

Sun, 2011-08-28 23:24
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 49, September 2011, Page ii

[No author name available]

Earthworms as colonizers of natural and cultivated soil environments☆

Thu, 2011-08-25 20:32
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 25 August 2011

H., Eijsackers

For cultivated soils, the important function of earthworms as ecosystem engineers and their major contribution to the composition and functioning of soil ecosystems with a varying species diversity has been extensively addressed. However, the role of earthworms as colonizers of virgin, uncultivated soil in the process of soil formation has been little researched and long underrated. To better understand this role, the following questions need to be considered: (1) what makes an early colonizer successful, what are its characteristics, and which species are the most successful and under what circumstances are they successful?; (2) what are the limiting factors in...

 Highlights: ► This review paper analyses colonization of soils by earthworms, an ecological dispersal and succession process. ► It complements recent papers on the consequences of invasion of exotic, alien species to soil ecosystems. ► It gives quantitative data on spatial dispersal rates and describes processes and mechanisms in dispersal. ► It describes succesful colonizing species,their characteristics, and consequences on soil characteristics. ► Combining older papers in Russian, German, French and English with recent ones, it covers many decades of research.

Microbial mineralization of biochar and wheat straw mixture in soil: A short-term study

Mon, 2011-08-22 20:35
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 21 August 2011

Costanza, Zavalloni , Giorgio, Alberti , Stefano, Biasiol , Gemini Delle, Vedove , Flavio, Fornasier , ...

A short-term incubation study was carried out to investigate the effect of biochar addition to soil on CO2 emissions, microbial biomass, soil soluble carbon (C) nitrogen (N) and nitrate–nitrogen (NO3–N). Four soil treatments were investigated: soil only (control); soil+5% biochar; soil+0.5% wheat straw; soil+5% biochar+0.5% wheat straw. The biochar used was obtained from hardwood by pyrolysis at 500°C. Periodic measurements of soil respiration, microbial biomass, soluble organic C, N and NO3–N were performed throughout the experiment (84 days). Only 2.8% of the added biochar C was respired, whereas 56% of the added wheat straw C was decomposed. Total net CO2...

 Highlights: ► Biochar addition to soil with or without wheat straw residues. ► Only 2.8% of the C from biochar was respired, whereas 56% of the wheat straw C was decomposed. ► Wheat straw residues did not promote biochar C decomposition. ► Biochar did not influence microbial biomass nor soluble organic N. ► Plant residues and biochar could reduce the soil N leaching potential increasing N immobilization.

Organic viticulture and soil quality: A long-term study in Southern France

Mon, 2011-08-22 20:35
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 21 August 2011

Patrice, Coll , Edith, Le Cadre , Eric, Blanchart , Philippe, Hinsinger , Cécile, Villenave

The rate of conversion of conventional vineyards into organic farming is currently increasing. This results in modifications of agricultural practices such as the application of organic manure, the use of tillage or grass-cutting to control weeds and the application of natural pesticides with preventive action. One of the aims of organic farming is to preserve the environment. In this context, the objective of our work was to evaluate the long-term effects of organic viticulture on soil quality. The study was conducted in a commercial vineyard where plots which had been organically managed for 7 (Organic7), 11 (Organic11) and 17 years...

 Highlights: ► Soil indicators significantly discriminate conventional and organic vineyards. ► Soil indicators exhibit transition stage of 7–11 years after organic conversion. ► Soil organic matter and biological activities increase with organic viticulture. ► Length and complexity of the soil micro-food web do not evolve in organic plots. ► Ploughing disturbs biological functioning and more specially earthworms.

Assessing effects of earthworm cast on methanotrophic community in a soil biocover by concurrent use of microarray and quantitative real-time PCR

Sat, 2011-08-20 20:29
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 19 August 2011

Tae Gwan, Kim , Kyung-Eun, Moon , Eun-Hee, Lee , Sun-Ah, Choi , Kyung-Suk, Cho

Effects of earthworm cast (EC) on the methanotrophic community in a soil biocover were evaluated using microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Soil was collected from a biocover with either soil alone or a mixture of soil and EC (3:1, w/w). The microarray results showed a more diverse methanotrophic community in the EC biocover than that in the soil biocover (p<0.05). A principal component analysis result confirmed a substantial change in the methanotrophic community structure due to the added EC. Type I methanotrophs dominated both biocovers, with Methylobacter being most abundant. The qRT-PCR results showed that EC greatly increased the...

 Highlights: ► Methanotrophic community in a lab-scale soil biocover was accurately qualified and quantified by concurrent use of microarray and quantitative real-time PCR. ► The addition of earthworm can dramatically increase the population density of methanotrophs as well as their diversity, resulting in a substantial shift in the community structure. ► The results confirmed the promising potential of EC as a bed material in biocovers for enhancing the performance of biocover.

Use of biostimulants on soil restoration: Effects on soil biochemical properties and microbial community

Wed, 2011-08-10 20:30
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 10 August 2011

Manuel, Tejada , Concepción, Benítez , Isidoro, Gómez , Juan, Parrado

Four biostimulants (BS): WCDSs, wheat condensed distiller solubles; PA-HE, hydrolyzed poultry feathers; CGHE, carob germ enzymatic extract; and RB, rice bran extract were applied annually at 4.7t organic matter (OM)ha−1 for a 3-year period to a Xerollic Calciorthid soil to evaluate their efficiency in soil restoration. Their effects on the plant cover, soil enzymatic activities and the structure of the soil microbial community by analysing phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were determined. Application of BS that contain higher amounts of protein and higher percentage of peptides under 3kDa had a greater effect on the soil biological properties, possibly due to the...

 Highlights: ► The application of biostimulants had a positive effect on soil biology. ► Soil biodiversity was highest in soil amended with biostimulants with higher percentage of peptides (<0.3kDa). ► The application of biostimulants favours the appearance of spontaneous vegetation. ► The application of biostimulants may be considered a good strategy for recovering semiarid areas.

Lack of home-field advantage in the decomposition of leaf litter in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil

Wed, 2011-08-10 20:30
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 10 August 2011

Urs Christian, Gießelmann , Kelly Geronazzo, Martins , Martin, Brändle , Martin, Schädler , Renato, Marques , ...

Experiments using litter monocultures have indicated that litter decomposes faster on its home site owing to specialised decomposers leading to a home-field advantage (HFA). However, most natural forests, in particular tropical rainforests, harbour more than one species of trees, all of which contribute to the local litter layer. Since interactions among different litter types that cause non-additive decomposition dynamics may prevent HFA, the occurrence of HFA in such multispecies ecosystems is still a matter of debate. Here we studied whether there is an HFA in a highly diverse forest ecosystem in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. We used a litter...

 Highlights: ► We found no home field advantage in litter decomposition in a diverse ecosystem. ► The lack of HFA is possibly due to the flexible microbial decomposer community. ► We suggest that the microbial flexibility leads to high resilience of decomposition.

Deposition of sand over a cyanobacterial soil crust increases nitrogen bioavailability in a semi-arid woodland

Sun, 2011-08-07 20:28
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 6 August 2011

Wendy J., Williams , David J., Eldridge

The movement of sand by erosion is a common feature of drylands during droughts and periods of sparse vascular plant cover. We examined the effects of sand deposition on the bioavailability of N in cyanobacterial-dominant soil crusts during and after a severe drought. Crusts were sampled from two depths on stony and stone-free surfaces with and without sandy deposits. All sites supported an extensive cover (up to 51%) of N-fixing cyanobacteria and cyanolichens. During drought, sand-covered crusts had up to three-times more mineral N (NH4+ and NO3−) and twice the mineralisable N, at both depths, than sand-free samples. Mineralisable N...

 Highlights: ► We examined N production from biological soil crusts covered by sand. ► Crusts are covered by sand during wind storms and droughts. ► Sand-covered crusts had more nitrogen than uncovered crusts. ► Increased nitrogen most likely resulted from death and breakdown of crust material. ► Prolonged sand cover may compromise the long-term bioavailability of soil N.

Pathogenic bacteria and mineral N in soils following the land spreading of biogas digestates and fresh manure

Wed, 2011-08-03 20:35
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 3 August 2011

M., Goberna , S.M., Podmirseg , S., Waldhuber , B.A., Knapp , C., García , ...

The on-farm production of renewable energy from animal manures has rapidly expanded in central and northern Europe, with thousands of anaerobic reactors. This process has increased the land spreading of biogas digestates, replacing the use of fresh manure as a fertiliser. The environmental benefits and risks of such a change still need to be defined. We hypothesised that applying to the soil anaerobically digested instead of fresh manure might control the release of pathogens but increase that of inorganic N. Pots including γ- or non-irradiated soils, either control or amended with digestate or manure (80kgNha−1), were incubated for 0, 1...

 Highlights: ► Amending soils with anaerobically digested instead of fresh manure released significantly less potential pathogens (E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria) to the environment, as shown by the numbers of CFUs and pathogenicity genes invA and hlyA. ► The indigenous soil microbiota suppressed allochthonous pathogens and control levels were recovered in 90 days. ► Vertical leaching of nitrates through the topsoil layer after application of digestate doubled that of soils amended with manure for a cumulative period of 100 days. Field nitrate application needs to match plant demand or digestate treatment should be considered.

Effects of soil management on structure and activity of denitrifying bacterial communities

Fri, 2011-07-29 20:27
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 29 July 2011

Roberta, Pastorelli , Silvia, Landi , Darine, Trabelsi , Raimondo, Piccolo , Alessio, Mengoni , ...

The influx of carbon sources and energy into the grossly oligotrophic soil system is a major driving force in biogeochemical cycles. Differences in these inputs due to the ground-covering plants and agriculture practices, likely influence the activity of the microbial communities. Previously, we have shown that the extent and degree of active bacterial diversity in soils are clearly affected by the type of management. In the present study we have evaluated the effects of different soil managements (tilled vineyard, grass-covered vineyard, temporary grassland, pasture, cork oak forest) on the diversity and activity of denitrifying bacterial species. Total DNA and RNA...

 Highlights: ► We study the effects of soil management on diversity of denitrifying bacteria. ► We provide information on denitrifying gene expression in soil. ► Soil managements influenced the diversity and activity of microbial community. ► We observe the presence in soils of novel and unique sequences from denitrifiers.

Effect of banana crop mixtures on the plant-feeding nematode community

Fri, 2011-07-29 20:27
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 29 July 2011

Patrick, Quénéhervé , Virginie, Barrière , Frédéric, Salmon , Florianne, Houdin , Raphael, Achard , ...

Varietal mixture is a cultural technique in which the genetic and functional diversities of varieties are used to manage pests and diseases. This strategy is commonly used on grass crops such as rice, barley, maize, and wheat to mitigate some windborne and soilborne pathogens. The effects of varietal mixtures on the number and community structure of pests, including plant-feeding nematodes (PFNs), however, have rarely been studied. In experiments conducted in Martinique, we evaluated the effect of varietal mixtures of bananas on PFN communities. A growth chamber experiment was used to measure the susceptibility of three banana cultivars dessert banana cv....

 Highlights: ► While crop mixtures are used against airborne diseases, there is scarce data for soil borne pests. ► Banana mixtures had significant effect on plant-feeding nematode populations. ► Mixing the more and less tolerant cultivars leads to an intermediate level of nematode populations.

Effects of cattle-lagoon slurry on a soil microbial community can be observed until depths of 50m

Fri, 2011-07-29 20:27
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 29 July 2011

Galit, Hermann , Laurence S., Shore , Yosef, Steinberger

The large amount of effluent generated by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has raised concerns about contamination of groundwater and pollution of streams by compounds that penetrate the vadose zone. However, the possibility that a microbial community in the vadose zone under cattle-slurry lagoons (CSLs) may also be affected has not been considered. In the present study, we investigated the influence of long-term (30 years) accumulation of cattle slurry on the vertical distribution of a soil microbial community (microbial biomass [MB], CO2 evolution, substrate utilization ability), until a 50-m depth, compared to a control site. Total soluble nitrogen (TSN) was...

 Highlights: ► Cattle-slurry infiltration can affect microbial community in 30-m-deep vadose zone. ► Soil microflora under a slurry lagoon show adaptation to aromatic carboxylic acids. ► Soil layers under a slurry lagoon have higher microbial functional diversity. ► Vadose-zone microbial activity can be a bioindicator of anthropogenic activities.

Chemical structure of humic acids in biosolids-amended soils as revealed by NMR spectroscopy

Thu, 2011-07-28 20:35
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 28 July 2011

C.Y., Chiu , G., Tian

We used NMR spectroscopy to characterize humid acids extracted from soils that had received long-term application of 2 levels of biosolids to evaluate the soil organic matter (SOM) stability in biosolids-amended soils. The study also quantified fulvic acids (FAs), humic acids (HAs) and Fe/Al oxides. The soils were collected in 2004 from 7 fields, in Fulton County, southwestern Illinois, which received biosolids at a cumulative rate of 0 (control), 554 (low biosolids) and 1,066 (high biosolids)Mgha−1. The application of biosolids increased both FA and HA contents, but biosolids-amended soil and control soil did not differ in FA/HA ratio. Biosolids application...

 Highlights: ► The HAs’ C shifts from O-alkyl-dominant to alkyl-dominant with biosolids application. ► More Fe/Al were present in SOM complex in biosolids-amended soils. ► Biosolids application increased the stability of soil humic substances.

Effects of four organic amendments on banana parasitic nematodes and soil nematode communities

Thu, 2011-07-28 20:35
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 28 July 2011

Perrine, Tabarant , Cécile, Villenave , Jean-Michel, Risede , Jean, Roger-Estrade , Laurent, Thuries , ...

Plant–parasitic nematodes are injurious crop pests that have been managed mainly by chemical nematicides. However, safe and alternative methods such as those based on organic materials need to be developed. Our study has evaluated (i) the effects of four organic amendments with different biochemical compositions that are abundantly produced in the study area (Guadeloupe, French West Indies) on soil nematode communities and (ii) some of the suppression mechanisms of banana parasitic nematodes, especially those involving the soil food web. This study is based on a microcosm experiment comparing sugarcane bagasse, sugarcane sludge, plant residues and sewage sludge. All amendments except...

 Highlights: ► 4 organic amendments tested to control the banana parasitic nematodes in microcosms. ► Inputs of sugarcane bagasse, plant residues and refinery sludge led to the regulation of plant–parasitic nematodes. ► Bagasse also enhanced the fungivorous and carnivorous nematodes. ► Sewage sludge did not reduce plant-parasitic nematodes either in roots or in soil.

Short-term changes of metal availability in soil. II: The influence of earthworm activity

Sat, 2011-07-23 20:33
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 23 July 2011

T., Natal-da-Luz , G., Ojeda , M., Costa , J., Pratas , R.P., LAnno , ...

This study aimed to evaluate short-term earthworm-induced changes in the availability of metals applied to soil directly (metal-spiked) or via an organic matrix (sludge-amended). A laboratory experiment was performed using destructive sampling of microcosms filled with agricultural soil. A concentration gradient of industrial sludge contaminated predominantly with Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn, and a soil freshly spiked with the same metal concentrations were applied on top of the soil columns. Individuals of Dendrobaena veneta (mimicking a realistic density of 500 earthworms per m2) were introduced in half of the replicates of each treatment. Total and 0.01M CaCl2 extractable metal concentrations...

 Highlights: ► Short-term earthworm-induced changes in soil metal availability were evaluated. ► Metals were applied to soil directly or via an organic matrix. ► Earthworm activity did not affect metal availability in soil over 12 weeks. ► Ni and Cu concentrations in D. veneta were higher at the highest treatment levels. ► Earthworm Cr and Ni concentrations were influenced by the matrices tested.

Inhibition of the germination and growth of Phymatotrichopsis omnivora (cotton root rot) by oilseed meals and isothiocyanates

Sat, 2011-07-23 20:33
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 23 July 2011

P., Hu , A.S., Wang , A.S., Engledow , E.B., Hollister , K.L., Rothlisberger , ...

The meals (co-products remaining after oil extraction) from many oilseed crops contain biocidal chemicals that are known to inhibit the growth and activity of some soil microorganisms including several plant pathogens. The fungus Phymatotrichopsis omnivora (Duggar) Hennebert is the causal agent of cotton root rot that has greatly hindered the production of cotton and alfalfa in Texas and the southwestern USA. We investigated the effect of oilseed meals from both brassicaceous plants including mustard and camelina as well as non-brassicaceous plants including jatropha, flax, and Chinese tallow on P. omnivora sclerotial germination and hyphal growth in Branyon clay soil, as...

 Highlights: ► Seed meals of mustard, camelina, and jatropha inhibited Phymatotrichopsis omnivora sclerotial germination and hyphal growth in Branyon clay. ► Allyl, butyl, phenyl, and benzyl isothiocyanates inhibited Phymatotrichopsis omnivora OKAlf8 hyphal growth on PDA. ► Mustard and allyl isothiocyanates were most effective.

Earthworms and nitrogen applications to improve soil health in an intensively cultivated kiwifruit orchard

Tue, 2011-07-19 20:27
Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Soil Ecology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 18 July 2011

Maria Jesus Iglesias, Briones , Maria Esther, Barreal , Anita Crespo, Harrison , Pedro Pablo, Gallego

Integrated approaches which simultaneously consider how intensification affects soil biota and the processes they regulate assist in developing sustainable management practices. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of introducing an anecic earthworm (Lumbricus friendi), in combination with two nitrogen applications either via biological fixation (clover, +EC) or cattle manure (+EM) on the chemical properties of an horticultural soil (C release, N mineralisation, soil pH, cations and P availability) collected from a kiwifruit orchard where the fruit is intensively produced using conventional agriculture practices. The laboratory incubation study also included two controls with and without earthworms (+E and −E,...

 Highlights: ► A healthy agricultural soil maintains biodiversity and delivers ecosystem services. ► Manure application improved earthworm activities and the chemical properties of the orchard soil. ► The common practice of planting a N-fixing legume did not similar beneficial effects. ► Combining soil macrofauna and organic fertilisers provides a more sustainable management.