Pesticide effects on bacterial diversity in agricultural soils – a review
According to guidelines for the approval of pesticides, side-effects on soil microorganisms should be determined by studying functional parameters such as carbon or nitrogen mineralisation. However, the microbial diversity may have been markedly changed following pesticide use despite unaltered metabolism, and such changes may affect soil fertility. This review evaluates new methods for measuring pesticide effects on bacterial diversity, and discusses how sampling should take temporal and spatial heterogeneity into account. Future research on pesticide approval protocols should establish the relationships between mineralisation assays and new and rapid bacterial diversity profiling methods, and should include the possible ecological implications of altered bacterial diversity for soil fertility.
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