Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation and Soilborne Pest Management

  • Erin N. RosskopfEmail author
  • Paula Serrano-Pérez
  • Jason Hong
  • Utsala Shrestha
  • María del Carmen Rodríguez-Molina
  • Kendall Martin
  • Nancy Kokalis-Burelle
  • Carol Shennan
  • Joji Muramoto
  • David Butler
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 46)


Anaerobic soil disinfestation is a biologically based, preplant soil treatment that provides an alternative to chemical fumigation for soilborne pest and disease management. The method involves the incorporation of organic amendments that contain a labile carbon source, covering soil with clear or gas-impermeable polyethylene tarp, and irrigating until saturation. Populations of facultative anaerobes utilize the carbon source and deplete the soil of oxygen for a short period of time. The approach has been tested for use in multiple crops, soil types, and regions and inputs can be modified to target specific pathogens. It is a particularly valuable tool for use in organic production, for use in fumigant buffer zones, and for use in regions where soil solarization is not feasible due to environmental constraints. In addition to oxygen depletion, the mechanisms involved in disease suppression include biological control and the production of organic acids. Significant shifts in the composition of the soil microbial community occur during the treatment, and the effects of ASD can be seen beyond the first cropping system and have the potential to contribute to the development of a disease-suppressive soil.



The authors wish to thank Ariena HC van Bruggen, Yuso Kobara, and Noriaki Momma for the introduction to anaerobic and biological soil disinfestation and to Wesley Schonborn for assistance in manuscript preparation.


Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the USDA. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin N. Rosskopf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paula Serrano-Pérez
    • 2
  • Jason Hong
    • 1
  • Utsala Shrestha
    • 3
  • María del Carmen Rodríguez-Molina
    • 2
  • Kendall Martin
    • 4
  • Nancy Kokalis-Burelle
    • 1
  • Carol Shennan
    • 5
  • Joji Muramoto
    • 5
  • David Butler
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA, ARS, United States Horticultural Research LaboratoryFort PierceUSA
  2. 2.Centro de InvestigacionesCientíficas y Tecnológicas de ExtremaduraInstituto de InvestigacionesAgrariasFinca La Orden-ValdesequeraGuadajira, BadajozSpain
  3. 3.Department of Plant SciencesOrganic, Sustainable & Alternative Crop Production, University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA
  5. 5.Environmental Studies DepartmentCenter for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

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