Advertisement

Soil Organic Matter and Microbial Role in Plant Productivity and Soil Fertility

  • Tapas BiswasEmail author
  • Subhas Chandra Kole
Chapter
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 4)

Abstract

The organic materials that become a part of the soil matrix are soil organic matter (SOM) which is the mainstay of soil quality. The heterotrophic microorganisms are the key players for degradation of organic matters by different enzymes due to assimilation of substrate carbon and energy for their nutrition. The SOM holds a key for sustained food production in a number of ways such as increased nutrient and water-use efficiency, improved physical properties of soils and improved biological activity. The temperature, O2 supply, rainfall, parent material, soil fertility, biological activity, nature of the substrate, land use pattern, etc. are the important factors controlling the rate of decomposition of SOM and thereby the status of soil organic carbon (SOC). Deterioration of soil quality, especially SOC and its associated nutrient supply to soil, is one of the major factors for yield decline or stagnation under intensive cropping system in most of the countries. Agricultural intensification has resulted in loss of carbon to atmosphere, and its contribution to green house is also a serious problem. The SOM is the most vital parameter that needs to take care for restoration and maintenance of soil health vis-a-vis soil fertility and crop productivity. This can be done mainly by adopting different technological options like C sequestration, balanced and integrated nutrient management (INM), improving quality and quantity of FYM, compost, vermicompost, green manure, mulch farming, incorporation of crop residues and recycling, production and promotion of bio-inoculants, increased forestation, choice of cropping system, etc.

Keywords

SOM SOC Soil quality Microbial degradation Integrated nutrient management 

References

  1. Alexander M (1977) Introduction to soil microbiology, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Basak BB, Biswas DR, Rattan RK (2012) Comparative effectiveness of value-added manures on crop productivity, soil mineral nitrogen and soil carbon pools under Maize-Wheat cropping system in an Inceptisol. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 60:288–298Google Scholar
  3. Bhargavi K, Reddy RC, Reddy YT, Reddy SD (2007) The productivity and residual soil fertility status under different rice based cropping systems in scarce rainfall zone of Andhra Pradesh, India. Int J Agric Sci 3:26–31Google Scholar
  4. Brady NC, Weil RR (2002) The nature and properties of soils, 13th edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown S, Lugo AE (1982) The storage and production of organic matter in tropical forests and their role in the global carbon cycle. Biotropica 14:161–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chandrasekhar Rao P (2012) Sustainability, productivity and soil quality through organic matter maintenance. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 60(Supplement):S 40–S 48Google Scholar
  7. Dawe D, Dobermann A, Moya P, Abdulrachman S, Singh B (2000) How widespread are yield declines in long term rice experiments in Asia? Field Crop Res 66:175–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Doran JW, Parkin TB (1994) Defining and assessing soil quality. In: Doran JW, Coleman DC, Bezdicek DF, Stewart BA (eds) Defining soil quality for a sustainable environment, SSSA Special Publication No. 35. Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 3–21Google Scholar
  9. Ganeshamurthy AN (2011) Soil carbon sequestration strategies through horticultural crops. In: Sreenivasa Rao C, Venkateshwarlu S, Kundu S, Singh AK (eds) Soil carbon sequestration strategies for climate change mitigation and food security. CRIDA, Hyderabad, pp 102–117Google Scholar
  10. Gobat JM, Aragno M, Matthey W (2004) The living soil – fundamentals of soil science and soil biology. Science Publishers, Inc, EnfieldGoogle Scholar
  11. Lal R (2000) World crop land soils as a source or sink for atmospheric carbon. Adv Agron 71:145–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liao Y, Wu WL, Meng FQ, Smith P, Lal R (2015) Increase in soil organic carbon by agricultural intensification in northern China. Biogeosciences 12:1403–1413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pal SK (2016) Soil organic matter. In: Text book of soil science. Oxford and IBH Publishing Company Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, pp 397–399Google Scholar
  14. Pandey J, Singh A (2012) Opportunities and constraints in organic farming: an Indian perspective. J Sci Res Banaras Hindu Univ 56:47–72Google Scholar
  15. Prasad J (2015) Soil health management – a key for sustainable production. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 63(S):S6–S13Google Scholar
  16. Ravindra A, Reddy B (2011) Redefining policy initiatives on soil health in the context of rain-fed areas. In: Sreenivasa Rao C, Venkateshwarlu B, Srinivas K, Kundu S, Singh AK (eds) Soil carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation and food security. CRIDA, Hyderabad, pp 82–92Google Scholar
  17. Singh Y, Singh P, Sidhu HS, Jat ML (2015) Organic resources for agriculture: availability, recycling potential and strategies to convert waste to national resource. In: Book of extended summaries. National dialogue on efficient nutrient management for improving soil health, New Delhi, pp 43–47Google Scholar
  18. Stevenson FJ, Cole M (2015) In: cycles of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur, micronutrients. Wiley, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  19. Subba Rao NS (2014) Soil microbiology, 4th edn. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  20. Suri VK (2007) Perspectives in soil health management – a looking glass. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 55:436–443Google Scholar
  21. Swarup A (1998) Emerging soil fertility management issues for sustainable crop productivity in irrigated systems. In: Swarup A, Reddy DD, Prakash RN (eds) Long-term soil fertility management through integrated plant nutrient supply. Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, pp 54–68Google Scholar
  22. Swarup A, Manna MC, Singh GB (2000) Impact of land use and management practices on organic carbon dynamics in soils of India. In: Lal R, Kimble JM, Stewart BA (eds) Global climate change and tropical ecosystems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 261–281Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil ScienceBidhan Chandra Krishi ViswavidyalayaMohanpurIndia

Personalised recommendations