Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 573–579 | Cite as

Effective microorganisms and compost favor nematodes in wheat crops

  • Cheng Hu
  • Yingchun Qi
Research Article


Excessive application of mineral fertilizers wastes resources and contaminates the environment. Alternative natural substitutes could solve those issues. Here, we hypothesize that organic compost may increase soil biological fertility more effectively than mineral fertilizers, and that effective microorganisms could improve the effects of traditional compost. So far, few investigations have analyzed the effects of the effective microorganisms on soil fauna such as nematodes. A 1997–2004 field experiment of soil fertility and crop yield has been carried out at China Agricultural University’s Qu-Zhou experimental station. A randomized block experiment comprised effective microorganisms, compost, traditional compost, N and P fertilizer treatment, and untreated controls. Soil nematode community structure and wheat yields were analyzed during wheat growth stages. Results show that in May the total nematode number is 43.21 % higher for effective microorganisms compost plots compared with traditional compost plots. Soil free-living nematodes are 29.32 % more abundant and bacteria-feeding nematodes are 63.23 % more abundant for effective microorganisms compost plots compared with traditional compost plots in June. Wheat grain yield is correlated with soil free-living nematodes during the jointing stage of wheat growth, with a correlation coefficient R 2 of 0.88.


Effective microorganisms Compost Soil nematodes Community structure Long-term fertilization experiment Triticum aestivum 



We would like to thank Aiming Shi of Qu-Zhou Experimental Station of China Agricultural University for her valuable assistance with our field study.


  1. Barker KR, Carter CC, Sasser JN (1985) An advanced treatise on Meloidogyne, methodology, vol. 2. North Carolina State University Graphics, Raleigh, p 223Google Scholar
  2. Bongers T, Bongers M (1998) Functional diversity of nematodes. Appl Soil Ecol 10:253–251. doi: 10.1016/S0929-1393(98)00123-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Briar SS, Grewal PS, Somasekhar N, Stinner D, Miller SA (2007) Soil nematode community, organic matter, microbial biomass and nitrogen dynamics in field plots transitioning from conventional to organic management. Appl Soil Ecol 37:256–266. doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2007.08.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Daly MJ, Stewart DPC (1999) Influence of “effective microorganisms” (EM) on vegetable production and carbon mineralization—a preliminary investigation. J Sustain Agric 14:15–25. doi: 10.1300/J064v14n02_04 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Diacono M, Montemurro F (2010) Long-term effects of organic amendments on soil fertility. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 30:401–422. doi: 10.1051/agro/2009040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DuPont ST, Ferris H, Horn MV (2009) Effects of cover crop quality and quantity on nematode-based soil food webs and nutrient cycling. Appl Soil Ecol 41:157–167. doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2008.10.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ekschmitt K, Bakonyi G, Bongers M, Bongers T, Boström S, Dogan H, Harrison A, Nagy P, O’Donell AG, Papatheodoru EM, Sohlenius B, Stamou GP, Wolters V (2001) Nematode community structure as indicator of soil functioning in European grassland soils. Eur J Soil Biol 37:263–268. doi: 10.1016/S1164-5563(01)01095-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fiscus DA, Neher DA (2002) Distinguishing sensitivity of free-leaving soil nematode genera to physical and chemical disturbances. Ecol Appl 12:565–575. doi: 10.1890/1051-0761(2002)012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Formowitz B, Elango F, Okumoto S, Müller T, Buerkert A (2007) The role of “effective microorganisms” in the composting of banana (Musa ssp.) residues. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 170:649–656. doi: 10.1002/jpln.200700002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Higa T (1991) Effective microorganisms: A biotechnology for mankind. In: Parr JF, Hornick SB, Whitman CE (eds). In: Proceedings of 1st Kyusei Nature Farming. USDA, Washington, DC, October 17–21, pp 8–14Google Scholar
  11. Higa T, Parr JF (1994) Beneficial and effective microorganisms for a sustainable agriculture and environment. INFRC (International Nature Farming Research Center), AtamiGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu C, Hermann G, Pen-Mouratov S, Shore L, Steinberger Y (2011) Mammalian steroid hormones can reduce abundance and affect the sex ratio in a soil nematode community. Agric Ecosyst Environ 142:275–279. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2011.05.024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Javaid A (2006) Foliar application of effective microorganisms on pea as an alternative fertilizer. Agron Sustain Dev 26:257–262. doi: 10.1051/agro:2006024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Javaid A, Bajwa R (2011) Field evaluation of effective microorganisms (EM) application for growth, nodulation, and nutrition of mung bean. Turk J Agric For 35:443–452. doi: 10.3906/tar-1001-599 Google Scholar
  15. Javaid A, Bajwa R, Anjum T (2008) Effect of heat sterilization and EM (effective microorganisms) application of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in organic matter amended soils. Cereal Res Commun 36:489–499. doi: 10.1556/CRC.36.2008.3.13 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Khaliq A, Abbasi MK, Hussain T (2006) Effect of integrated use of organic and inorganic nutrient sources with effective microorganisms (EM) on seed cotton yield in Pakistan. Bioresour Technol 97:967–972. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2005.05.002 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leroy BLM, Sutter ND, Ferris H, Moens M, Reheul D (2009) Short-term nematode population dynamics as influenced by the quality of exogenous organic matter. Nematology 11:23–38. doi: 10.1163/156854108X398381 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mal WF, Lyon HH (1975) Pictorial key to genera of pant-parasitic nematodes. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp 1–219Google Scholar
  19. Mandal A, Patra AK, Singh D, Swarup A, Masto RE (2007) Effect of long-term application of manure and fertilizer on biological and biochemical activities in soil during crop development stages. Bioresour Technol 98:3585–3592. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2006.11.027 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Neher DA (2001) Role of nematodes in soil health and their use as indicators. J Nematol 33:161–168PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Ou W, Liang WJ, Jiang Y, Li Q, Wen DZ (2005) Vertical distribution of soil nematodes under different land use types in an aquic brown soil. Pedobiologia 49:139–148. doi: 10.1016/j.pedobi.2004.10.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pan FJ, McLaughlin NB, Yu Q, Xue AG, Xu YL, Han XZ, Li CJ, Zhao D (2010) Responses of soil nematode community structure to different long-term fertilizer strategies in the soybean phase of a soybean–wheat–corn rotation. Eur J Soil Biol 46:105–111. doi: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2010.01.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Porazinskaa DL, Duncanb LW, McSorley R, Graham JH (1999) Nematode communities as indicators of status and processes of a soil ecosystem influenced by agricultural management practices. Appl Soil Ecol 13:69–86. doi: 10.1016/S0929-1393(99)00018-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Singh JS, Pandey VC, Singh DP (2011) Efficient soil microorganisms: a new dimension for sustainable agriculture and environmental development. Agric Ecosyst Environ 140:339–353. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2011.01.017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Villenave C, Bongers T, Ekschmitt K, Pernandes P, Oliver R (2003) Changes in nematode communities after in millet fields in Senegal. Nematology 5:351–358. doi: 10.1163/156854103769224340 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Villenave C, Saj S, Pablo AL, Sall S, Djigal D, Chotte JL, Bonzi M (2010) Influence of long-term organic and mineral fertilization on soil nematofauna when growing Sorghum bicolor in Burkina Faso. Biol Fertil Soils 46:659–670. doi: 10.1007/s00374-010-0471-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yeates GW (2003) Nematodes as soil indicators: functional and biodiversity aspects. Biol Fertil Soils 37:199–210. doi: 10.1007/s00374-003-0586-5 Google Scholar
  28. Yeates GW, Bongers T, De Goede RGM, Freckman D, Georgieva SS (1993) Feeding habits in soil nematode families and genera—an outline for soil ecologists. J Nematol 25:315–331PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Ying WY (1998) Pictorial keys to soil animals of China. China Science Press, Beijing, pp 51–89Google Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant Protection and Soil FertilizerHubei Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations