Strategic tillage increased the relative abundance of Acidobacteria but did not impact on overall soil microbial properties of a 19-year no-till Solonetz
- 515 Downloads
Continuous no-till (NT) farming is widely practiced in Australia, but it is prone to weed infestation. Strategic tillage (ST) can be used to effectively control weeds; however, it is unclear whether ST influences soil microbial properties. We investigated whether one- or two-time tillage events using a chisel plough influence the soil microbial properties of an acidic Solonetz with 19-year NT management. Soil samples were collected from 0–10 and 10–20 cm soil depths, 1 year post-ST after a chickpea crop. Microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN), community-level physiological profiling (CLPP, MicroResp™) and fluorescein diacetate as an indicator of total microbial activity (TMA) were determined in soil. The composition of soil microbial communities was profiled using terminal reaction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and 16S rRNA sequencing. Detection and DNA-based quantitation of ChitinaseA, nifH, amoA, narG, nirK and nosZ genes were used to assess ST effects on soil C and N cycling. Our results show that one- and two-time chisel did not change soil MBC/MBN, TMA or CLPP. Likewise, ST did not change the composition of soil microbial communities and the abundance of genes encoding enzymes involved in key steps of C and N reactions at either soil depth. However, one-time chisel increased relative abundance of Acidobacteria RB41 and Acidobacteria iii1-15, and two-time chisel slightly increased the average C utilisation, both at 10–20 cm soil depth. This suggests that even after a cropping season of chickpea, ST effects on soil microbial properties of the NT Solonetz were negligible. One- and two-time chisel could potentially address the issues associated with long-term NT without impacting overall soil microbial properties.
KeywordsAcidobacteria Actinobacteria Conservation farming Carbon and nitrogen cycling Soil microbial properties
We wish to thank the Grains Research & Development Corporation, Australia, for financial support. HL gratefully acknowledges financial support from China Scholarship Council. The authors acknowledge Rodney Hamilton for performing the tillage and field work, Christian Forstner for preparing the sequencing libraries and Dr Jessica Dalton-Morgan for proof-reading the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- Campbell CD, Chapman SJ, Cameron CM, Davidson MS, Potts JM (2003) A rapid microtiter plate method to measure carbon dioxide evolved from carbon substrate amendments so as to determine the physiological profiles of soil microbial communities by using whole soil. Appl Environ Microbiol 69:3593–3599. doi: 10.1128/AEM.69.6.3593-3599.2003 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Dang Y, Moody P, Bell M, Seymour N, Dalal R, Freebairn D, Walker S (2015b) Strategic tillage in no-till farming systems in Australia’s northern grains-growing regions: II. Implications for agronomy, soil and environment. Soil Till Res 152:115–123. doi: 10.1016/j.still.2014.12.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Haynes R (1986) "Uptake and assimilation of mineral nitrogen by plants" in Mineral nitrogen in the plant-soil system, eds. R.J. Haynes (Orlando, FL:Academic Press), 303-378Google Scholar
- Isbell R (2002) The Australian soil classification vol 4. CSIRO Publishing, CollingwoodGoogle Scholar
- IUSS Working Group WRB (2007) ‘World reference base for soil resources 2006’ World Soil Resources Report No. 103. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0510e/a0510e00.pdf. Accessed 20 Nov 2015
- Jenkinson D, Ladd J (1981) Microbial biomass in soil: measurement and turnover. In: Paul EA, Ladd JN (eds) Soil Biochemistry, vol 5. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 415–471Google Scholar
- Kaurin A, Kastelec D, Schloter M, Suhadolc M, Grčman H (2015) Consequences of minimum soil tillage on abiotic soil properties and composition of microbial communities in a shallow Cambisol originated from fluvioglacial deposits. Biol Fertil Soils 51:923–933. doi: 10.1007/s00374-015-1037-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Liu H, Carvalhais L, Crawford M, Dang Y, Dennis P, Schenk P (2016a) Strategic tillage on a Grey vertosol after fifteen years of no-till management had no short-term impact on soil properties and agronomic productivity. Geoderma 267C:146–155. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Liu H, Rincon-Florez V, Crawford M, Dang Y, Carvalhais L, Paul D, Schenk P (2016b) One-time strategic tillage does not cause major impacts on soil microbial properties in a no-till Calcisol. Soil Till Res:191–199 doi: 10.1016/j.still.2015.12.007
- Llewellyn RS, D’Emden F (2010) Adoption of no-till cropping practices in Australian grain growing regions. Australian Government, Grains Research and Development Corporation. http://www.grdc.com.au/uploads/documents/GRDC_adoption_of_no-till.pdf. Accessed 1 Dec 2016
- Norton U, Bista P, Ghimire R, Norton JB (2014) US West: One-time summer tillage does not negate long-term benefits of no-till. Crops Soils mag 47:24–25, https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/cns/pdfs/47/3/24. Accessed 1 Dec 2016Google Scholar
- Sparling G, Pankhurst C, Doube B, Gupta V (1997) Soil microbial biomass, activity and nutrient cycling as indicators of soil health. In: Pankhurst CE (ed) Biological indicators of soil health. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 97–119Google Scholar
- Wakelin SA, Macdonald LM, Rogers SL, Gregg AL, Bolger TP, Baldock JA (2008) Habitat selective factors influencing the structural composition and functional capacity of microbial communities in agricultural soils. Soil Biol Biochem 40:803–813. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.10.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Walker S (2012) Capturing opportunities and overcoming obstacles in Australian agronomy. In: Yunusa I (ed). Proceedings of 16th Australian Agronomy Conference 2012, 14-18 October 2012, Armidale, NSW. http://www.regional.org.au/au/asa/2012/plenary/8550_walkersr.htm