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Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 443–453 | Cite as

Pesticide effects on bacterial diversity in agricultural soils – a review

  • Kaare Johnsen
  • Carsten S. Jacobsen
  • Vigdis Torsvik
  • Jan Sørensen
Review Article

Abstract.

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.

Pesticide Biodiversity Polymerase chain reaction Substrate utilisation Ribosomal DNA 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaare Johnsen
    • 1
  • Carsten S. Jacobsen
    • 1
  • Vigdis Torsvik
    • 2
  • Jan Sørensen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geochemistry, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Thoravej 8, 2400 København NV, Denmark
  2. 2.Institute of Microbiology, University of Bergen, Jahnebakken 5, 5020 Bergen, Norway
  3. 3.Section of Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Ecology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

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