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Microbial Diversity and Soil Health in Tropical Agroecosystems

  • Dipanti Chourasiya
  • Mahaveer P. Sharma
  • Hemant S. Maheshwari
  • Aketi Ramesh
  • Sushil K. Sharma
  • Tapan Kumar AdhyaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Microorganisms for Sustainability book series (MICRO, volume 4)

Abstract

Microbial diversity is one important factor which controls agroecosystem productivity and quality. Microbial diversity is critical to ecosystem functioning due to its specificity in processes for which microbes are responsible. The presence of diverse soil microbes, bacteria, fungi, and archaea plays a critical role in cycling of major elements (C, N, P) which helps to maintain good soil health. These microbes help in maintaining soil structure, reduce susceptibility to pests and diseases, and eliminate hazardous substances from soil. In this review we addressed two significant questions concerning soil health: (1) how microbial diversity and community structure most effectively describe soil health and can be used as indicators and (2) how can soil health assessed by such indicators be improved or maintained? A summary of available techniques to characterize microbial community structure and diversity is provided, and information pertaining to strategies that can improve microbial diversity in relation to soil health by adopting suitable agricultural practices to sustain soil and crop productivity is furnished. These techniques include those for structural profiling, functional profiling, and other tools being used to assess microbial community diversity and their management through agricultural practices for improving the quality of soil and enhancing the crop productivity. Healthy soil supports high microbial diversity, activity, fertility, nutrient cycling, and disease-suppressive abilities. There is a considerable interest in understanding the nutrient cycles that regulates C, N, and P (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) exchange between the soil and atmosphere and how this exchange responds into tropical agroecosystem functioning under diverse edapho-climatic conditions.

Keywords

Soil health Tropical agroecosystem Microbial diversity Structural community profiling Soil health indicators 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dipanti Chourasiya
    • 1
  • Mahaveer P. Sharma
    • 1
  • Hemant S. Maheshwari
    • 1
  • Aketi Ramesh
    • 1
  • Sushil K. Sharma
    • 2
  • Tapan Kumar Adhya
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Institute of Soybean ResearchIndoreIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important MicroorganismsMau Nath BhanjanIndia
  3. 3.KIIT School of BiotechnologyBhubaneswarIndia

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