Short-term effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers on soil microbial community structure and function
- 4.1k Downloads
A field study was carried out to analyze the short-term impacts of replacing mineral by organic fertilizers on the microbial and biochemical parameters relevant for soil fertility and crop yield. Three types of fertilization regimes were compared: (1) conventional fertilizer regime with inorganic fertilizer, and combined integrated fertilizer regimes in which 25 % of the nutrients were supplied by either (2) rabbit manure or (3) vermicompost. The effects on microbial community structure and function (phospholipid fatty acid [PLFA] profiles, bacterial growth, fungal growth, basal respiration, β-glucosidase, protease and phosphomonoesterase activities), soil biochemical properties (total C, dissolved organic carbon [DOC], N-NH4 +, N-NO3 −, PO4, total K) and crop yield were investigated in the samples collected from the experimental soil at harvest, 3 months after addition of fertilizer. The integrated fertilizer regimes stimulated microbial growth, altered the structure of soil microbial community and increased enzyme activity relative to inorganic fertilization. Bacterial growth was particularly influenced by the type of fertilizer regime supplied, while fungal growth only responded to the amount of fertilizer provided. The use of manure produced a fast increase in the abundance of PLFA biomarkers for Gram-negative bacteria as compared to inorganic fertilizer. Nutrient supply and crop yield with organic fertilizers were maintained at similar levels to those obtained with inorganic fertilizer. The effects of the organic amendments were observed even when they involved a small portion of the total amount of nutrients supplied; thereby confirming that some of the beneficial effects of integrated fertilizer strategies may occur in the short term.
KeywordsVermicompost Manure Organic fertilizers Sustainable agriculture PLFAs Soil enzymes
Cristina Lazcano is a recipient of an Ángeles Alvariño research fellowship from the Xunta de Galicia. María Gómez Brandón was financially supported by a postdoctoral research grant from the Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero. This research was financially supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (CTM2009-08477). The authors are grateful to Louise E. Jackson and Luis Sampedro for comments and suggestions on the manuscript and Priyashiela Singh for assistance with the statistical analysis.
- Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Rowland AP (1986) Chemical analysis. Methods in plant ecology. Blackwell Scientific, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Bardgett RD (2005) The biology of soil: a community and ecosystem approach. Oxford University Press, Cambridge, p 242Google Scholar
- Drinkwater LE, Snapp S (2007) Understanding and managing the rhizosphere in agroecosystems. In: Cardon ZG, Whitbeck JL (eds) The rhizosphere: an ecological perspective. Elsevier Academic Press, London, UK, pp 127–153Google Scholar
- Littell R, Milliken G, Stroup W, Wolfinger RD, Schabenberger O (2006) SAS for mixed models. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
- McCune B, Grace JB (2002) Analysis of ecological communities. Mjm Software Design, OR, USAGoogle Scholar
- Nannipieri P (1994) The potential use of soil enzymes as indicators of productivity, sustainability and pollution. In: Pankhurst CE, Doube BM, Gupta VVSR, Grace PR (eds) Soil biota: management in sustainable farming systems. CSIRO, Australia, pp 238–244Google Scholar
- Paul E (2007) Soil microbiology, ecology, and biochemistry, 3rd ed. Elsevier Academic PressGoogle Scholar
- Wardle DA (2002) Communities and ecosystems. Linking the aboveground and belowground components. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJGoogle Scholar