Paddy and Water Environment

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 53–64 | Cite as

A review of studies on SRI effects on beneficial organisms in rice soil rhizospheres

  • Iswandi Anas
  • O. P. Rupela
  • T. M. Thiyagarajan
  • Norman Uphoff


This communication reports on separate research efforts in India and Indonesia to evaluate the effects that modifying methods of plant, soil, water and nutrient management could have on populations of soil organisms, particularly on those that can have beneficial consequences for crop growth and yield. Comparison of these parallel studies (Table 7) draws attention to the impacts that management can have on the soil biota, given that certain organisms are known to have positive implications for plants’ nutrition, health, and productivity. Data from the three studies show SRI management associated with some significant differences in soil microbial populations; higher levels of enzyme activity in SRI plant rhizospheres, indicative of increased N and P availability; and more soil microbial C and N, which would enlarge the nutrient pool for both plants and microbes. The studies reported, although more exploratory than conclusive, show enough similarity to suggest that SRI practices, which make paddy soils more aerobic and enhance soil organic matter, are supportive of enhanced populations of beneficial soil organisms. If this relationship is confirmed by further assessments, it could help researchers and practitioners to improve paddy production in resource-conserving, cost-effective ways. This review was written to encourage more studies to assess these kinds of soil biotic relationships and dynamics.


Agriculturally beneficial soil microbes Microbial biomass carbon Microbial biomass nitrogen Phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms Rhizosphere Root mass Root length density Soil biology System of rice intensification (SRI) 


  1. Anderson JPE, Domsch KH (1989) Ratios of microbial biomass carbon to total organic carbon in arable soils. Soil Biol Biochem 21:471–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Casida LE (1977) Microbial metabolic activity in soil as measured by dehydrogenase determinations. Appl Envir Microbiol 34:630–636Google Scholar
  3. Casida LE, Klein DA, Santro T (1965) Soil dehydrogenase activity. Soil Sci 98:371–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ceesay M, Reid WS, Fernandes ECM, Uphoff N (2007) Effects of repeated soil wetting and drying on lowland rice yield with system of rice intensification (SRI) methods. Intl J Agric Sust 4:5–14Google Scholar
  5. Chapagain T, Yamaji E (2009) The effects of irrigation method, age of seedling and spacing on crop performance productivity and water-wise rice production in Japan. Paddy Water Envir 8:81–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crooke WM (1964) The measurement of cation exchange capacity of plant roots. Plant Soil 21:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dalal RC, Sahrawat KL, Myers RJK (1984) Inclusion of nitrate, nitrite in the Kjeldahl nitrogen determination of soils and plant materials using sodium thiosulphate. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 15:1453–1461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gyathry G (2002) Studies on dynamics of soil microbes in rice rhizosphere with water saving irrigation and in situ weed incorporation. Unpublished thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  9. Hansen CE, Wenzler H, Meins FJ (1984) Concentration gradients of trans zeatin riboside and trans zeatin in the maize stem. Plant Physiol 75:959–963PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Iswandi A, Widyastuti R, Hutabarat TR, Nareswari D, Hakim IA, Ningtyas A, Agusemati N, Ulfah M, Sari EN (2009). Recent findings from SRI studies: laboratory of soil biology. Presentation at University of Brawijaya, Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB), October 6, slide 18. (
  11. Iswandi A, Hutabarat T, Muchlis B (2010) Populasi mikroba tanah pada system of rice intensification (SRI) (soil microbial population under the system of rice intensification). Journal of Soil and Environment (submitted)Google Scholar
  12. Jenkinson DS (1988) The determination of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen in soil. In: Wilson JR (ed) Advances in nitrogen cycling in agricultural ecosystems. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 368–386Google Scholar
  13. Kabir H, Uphoff N (2007) Results of disseminating the system of rice intensification with Farmer Field School methods in Northern Myanmar. Exper Agric 43:463–476Google Scholar
  14. Kar S, Varade SB, Subramanyam TK, Ghildyal BP (1974) Nature and growth pattern of rice root system under submerged and unsaturated conditions. Il Riso (Italy) 23:173–179Google Scholar
  15. Laulanié H (1993) Le système de riziculture intensive malgache. Tropicultura 11:110–114Google Scholar
  16. Lin XQ, Zhu DF, Chen HX, Cheng SH, Uphoff N (2009) Effect of plant density and nitrogen fertilizer rates on grain yield and nitrogen uptake of hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.). J Agric Biotech Sust Dev 1:44–53Google Scholar
  17. Lin XQ, Zhu DF, Lin XJ (2011) Effects of water management and organic fertilization with SRI crop practices on hybrid rice performance and rhizosphere dynamics. Paddy Water Env. doi: 10.1007/s10333-010-0238-y
  18. Mishra A, Salokhe VM (2008) Seedling characteristics and early growth of transplanted rice under different water regimes. Exper Agric 44:1–19Google Scholar
  19. Mishra A, Salokhe VM (2010) The effects of planting pattern and water regime on root morphology, physiology and grain yield of rice. J Agron Crop Sci 196:368–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mishra A, Salokhe VM (2011) Rice root growth and physiological responses to SRI water management and implications for crop productivity. Paddy Water Env (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  21. Namara R, Bossio D, Weligamage P, Herath I (2008) The practice and effects of the system of rice intensification (SRI) in Sri Lanka. Qtly J Intl Agric 47:5–23Google Scholar
  22. Nemoto K, Morita S, Baba T (1995) Shoot and root development in rice related to the phyllochron. Crop Sci 35:24–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nisha PT (2002) Physiological responses of rice hybrids CORH2 and ADTRH1 to integrated crop management techniques. Unpublished thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, CoimbatoreGoogle Scholar
  24. Okon Y, Albrecht SL, Burris RH (1977) Methods for growing Azospirillum lipoferum for counting it in pure cultures and association with plants. Envir Microb 33:85–88Google Scholar
  25. Olsen SR, Cole CV, Watanable FS, Dean LA (1954) Estimation of available phosphorous in soils by extraction with sodium bicarbonate. US Dept Agr Circ 939Google Scholar
  26. Parkinson D, Gray JRG, Williams ST (1971) Methods for studying the ecology of soil microorganisms. Oxford Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Rao RV, Venkateswarlu B (1982) Associative symbiosis of Azospirillum lipoferum with dicotyledonous succulent plants of the Indian desert. Can J Microbiol 28:778–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rupela OP, Wani SP, Kranthi M, Humayun P, Satyanarayana A, Goud V, Gujja B, Punnarao P, Shashibhushan V, Raju DJ, Reddy PL (2006). Comparing soil properties of farmers’ fields growing rice by SRI and conventional methods. Paper prepared for the 1st national SRI symposium, ANGRAU, Hyderabad, 17–18 Nov. Worldwide Fund for Nature-ICRISAT.
  29. Sato S, Uphoff N (2007) A review of on-farm evaluations of system of rice intensification (SRI) methods in eastern Indonesia. CAB Rev 2(54):1–12Google Scholar
  30. Schreiner RF, Mihara KL, McDaniel H, Bethlenfalvay GJ (1997) Mycorrhizal fungi influence plant and soil functions and interactions. Plant Soil 188:199–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sinha SK, Talati J (2007) Productivity impacts of the system of rice intensification (SRI): a case study in West Bengal, India. Agric Water Manage 87:55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sooksa-Nguan T, Thies JE, Gypmantsiri P, Boonkerd N, Teaumroong N (2009) Effect of rice cultivation system on nitrogen cycling and nitrifying bacterial community structure. Appl Soil Ecol 43:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Subba Rao NS (1982) Biofertilizers in agriculture. Oxford & IBH Publishing, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  34. Tabatabai MA, Bremner JM (1969) Use of P-nitrophenol phosphate for assay of soil phosphatase activity. Soil Biol Biochem 1:301–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tao LX, Wang X, Min SK (2002) Physiological effects of SRI methods on the rice plant. In: Uphoff N, Fernandes ECM, Yuan LP, Peng JM, Rafaralahy S, Rabenandrasana J (eds) Assessments of the system of rice intensification. Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, Ithaca, pp 132–136.
  36. Thakur AK, Uphoff N, Antony E (2010) An assessment of physiological effects of system of rice intensification (SRI) practices compared to recommended rice cultivated practices in India. Exper Agric 46:77–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thakur AK, Rath S, Patil DU, Kumar A (2011) Effects on rice plant morphology and physiology of water and associated management practices of the System of Rice Intensification and their implications for crop performance. Paddy Water Env. doi: 10.1007/s10333-010-0236-0
  38. Unbeit MM (1964) Procedure for estimation of ATPase. In: Pathmanaban G (ed) Analytical methods in crop physiology. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, CoimbatoreGoogle Scholar
  39. Uphoff N, Iswandi A, Rupela OP, Thakur AK, Thiyagarajan TM (2009) Learning about positive plant-microbial interactions from the system of rice intensification (SRI). Asp Appl Biol 98:29–54Google Scholar
  40. Walkley A, Black IA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determination of soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yang CM, Yang LH, Yang YX, Zhu OY (2004) Rice root growth and nutrient uptake as influenced by organic matter and alternately flooded paddy soils. Agric Water Manag 70:67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhao LM, Wu LH, Li YS, Lu XH, Zhu DF, Uphoff N (2009) Influence of the system of rice intensification on rice yield and nitrogen and water use efficiency with different N application rates. Exper Agric 45:275–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhao LM, Wu LH, Li YS, Animesh S, Zhu DF, Uphoff N (2010) Comparisons of yield, water use efficiency, and soil microbial biomass as affected by the system of rice intensification. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 41:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iswandi Anas
    • 1
  • O. P. Rupela
    • 2
  • T. M. Thiyagarajan
    • 3
  • Norman Uphoff
    • 4
  1. 1.Soil Biotechnology LaboratoryBogor Agricultural University (IPB)BogorIndonesia
  2. 2.ICRISATPatancheruIndia
  3. 3.Tamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  4. 4.Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and DevelopmentIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations