Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Litter quality drives nitrogen release, and agricultural management (organic vs. conventional) drives carbon loss during litter decomposition in agro-ecosystems
    Martinez Garcia, L.B. ; Korthals, G.W. ; Brussaard, L. ; Mainardi, Giulia ; Deyn, G.B. de - \ 2021
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 153 (2021). - ISSN 0038-0717
    Litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization are crucial in agricultural systems to maintain soil fertility and plant growth. Given that these processes are governed by soil microbial activity, agricultural management that affects soil microbial communities may significantly alter rates of decomposition and N release of the same litter. We hypothesized that organic compared to conventional management enhances litter decomposition and litter N release, and that this effect is stronger for litter of low quality (high C:N ratio).

    We tested these hypotheses using litter from 4 maize cultivars with varying initial litter quality (different C:N ratios and lignocellulose index). These litters were left to decompose in soil with different management history, yet in the same experimental field site. The field experiment consisted of randomized plots with 11 years of organic or conventional agricultural management (organic vs. mineral fertilization). During the 11 years, in year 3 and 4, two specific organic amendments were applied as soil health treatments (SHT: chitin or compost, and a control without SHT). The maize litter was contained in litter bags, buried in the top 10–15 cm soil and collected after 1, 2 and 3 months. We quantified the litter carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) loss, and soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC), mineral and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) at each sampling time. We also determined the fungal biomass in the decomposing litter after 3 months of decomposition.

    Litter C loss was higher in soil under organic compared to conventional management, irrespective of litter quality. In contrast, the rate of N release from the litter was determined by initial litter quality (higher N release from low C:N litter) and not by agricultural management. In soil under organic management the concentrations of DOC, mineral N and DON were larger than in conventional managed soil, which may have stimulated microbial activity and therefore, litter decomposition. Fungal biomass in the decomposing litter negatively correlated with the amount of N in the decomposing litter, but was not affected by management system or litter cultivar.

    Overall, we found that in agroecosystems initial litter quality (C:N) is a main driver of litter N release, whereas soil management is a main driver of decomposing litter C loss. Our results show the importance of integrating both litter quality and soil management to enhance our understanding of litter decomposition and N release, and to harness the ecosystem services provided by crop litter in agricultural fields.
    Corrigendum to “Sensitivity of labile carbon fractions to tillage and organic matter management and their potential as comprehensive soil quality indicators across pedoclimatic conditions in Europe”
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Oguejiofor, Chidinma U. ; Meier, Jennifer ; Gort, Gerrit ; Comans, Rob ; Mäder, Paul ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Goede, Ron de - \ 2020
    Ecological Indicators 121 (2020). - ISSN 1470-160X

    The authors would like to apologize for missing the correction provided below: To calculate the tea bag decomposition, the final weight of the tea bag instead of the % mass loss (i.e. 1-final weight/initial weight) was taken. Hence, the negative partial correlation originally found should be positive. The corrections have been made in the online version of the manuscript. Table 4. Partial correlation coefficients (ρ) between the labile organic carbon fractions expressed in mg kg−1 soil (Hy-DOC, DOC, POXC, HWEC and POMC) and % (TOC) and various soil chemical, physical and biological indicators used as dependent variable, corrected for the long term field experiments (LTEs). The number of samples used in the analyses was 167, but 101 for earthworm number, and earthworms biomass. In the table also the average correlation coefficients for each indicator group (chemical, physical and biological indicators) is reported, in addition to the overall average correlation coefficient (calculated across all the indicators). [Table presented] Hy-DOC hydrophilic dissolved organic carbon, DOC dissolved organic carbon, POXC permanganate oxidizable carbon, HWEC hot water extractable carbon, POMC particulate organic matter carbon, TOC total organic carbon, TON total nitrogen, CEC cation exchange capacity, WSA water stable aggregates, BD bulk density, MBC microbial biomass carbon, MBN microbial biomass nitrogen, SR soil respiration, qCO2 metabolic quotient, qMIC microbial quotient. *p ≤ 0.01, **p ≤ 0.001, ***p ≤ 0.0001.

    Resistance–recovery trade-off of soil microbial communities under altered rain regimes : An experimental test across European agroecosystems
    Piton, Gabin ; Foulquier, Arnaud ; Martinez-García, Laura B. ; Legay, Nicolas ; Arnoldi, Cindy ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Hedlund, Katarina ; Martins da Silva, Pedro ; Nascimento, Eduardo ; Reis, Filipa ; Sousa, José Paulo ; Clément, Jean C. ; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De - \ 2020
    Journal of Applied Ecology (2020). - ISSN 0021-8901
    bacteria - copiotrophs - drought - extracellular enzyme - fungi - oligotrophs - PLFA - resilience

    With the increased occurrence of climate extremes, there is an urgent need to better understand how management strategies affect the capacity of the soil microbial community to maintain its ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling). To address this issue, intact monoliths were extracted from conventional and ecological managed grasslands in three countries across Europe and exposed under common air condition (temperature and moisture) to one of three altered rain regimes (dry, wet and intermittent wet/dry) as compared to a normal regime. Subsequently, we compared the resistance and recovery of the soil microbial biomass, potential enzyme activities and community composition. The microbial community composition differed with soil management and rain regimes. Soil microbial biomass increased from the wetter to the dryer rain regime, paralleling an increase of available carbon and nutrients, suggesting low sensitivity to soil moisture reduction but nutritional limitations of soil microbes. Conversely, enzyme activities decreased with all altered rain regimes. Resistance and recovery (considering absolute distance between normal and altered rain regime) of the microbial communities depended on soil management. Conventional-intensive management showed higher resistance of two fundamental properties for nutrient cycling (i.e. bacterial biomass and extracellular enzyme activities) yet associated with more important changes in microbial community composition. This suggests an internal community reorganization promoting biomass and activity resistance. Conversely, under ecological management bacterial biomass and enzyme activities showed better recovery capacity, whereas no or very low recovery of these properties was observed under conventional management. These management effects were consistent across the three altered rain regimes investigated, indicating common factors controlling microbial communities’ response to different climate-related stresses. Synthesis and applications. Our study provides experimental evidence for an important trade-off for agroecosystem management between (a) stabilizing nutrient cycling potential during an altered rain regime period at the expense of very low recovery capacity and potential long-term effect (conventional sites) and (b) promoting the capacity of the microbial community to recover its functional potential after the end of the stress (ecological sites). Thus, management based on ecologically sound principles may be the best option to sustain long-term soil functioning under climate change.

    Corrigendum to “Soil suppressiveness to Pythium ultimum in ten European long-term field experiments and its relation with soil parameters”
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Postma, Joeke ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Goede, Ron G.M. de; Mäder, Paul ; Tamm, Lucius ; Thuerig, Barbara - \ 2020
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 150 (2020). - ISSN 0038-0717

    The authors regret < To the editor of Soil Biology and Biochemistry, While reviewing the data for another manuscript I found an error in the calculation of the decomposition measured by the tea bag method that was included in the article: “Soil suppressiveness to Pythium ultimum in ten European long-term field experiments and its relation with soil parameters” by Bongiorno G., Postma J., Bünemann E., Brussaard L., de Goede R., Mäder P., Tamm L., and Thürig B. published in 2019 in Soil Biology and Biochemistry 133: 174–187. The error made was this: to calculate the tea bag decomposition, the final weight of the tea bag instead of the % mass loss (i.e. 1-final weight/initial weight) was taken. Hence, the negative partial correlation originally found should be positive, which actually makes more sense. I am very sorry for this unfortunate error and herewith provide you with the corrected results, see the correct rows in the tables at the end of this message. Below, the consequences for the conclusions of the current manuscript are described. In summary: the error found in the final calculation of tea bag decomposition does not undermine the messages and results of the article. In detail: Text: In the text below, which can be found in the beginning of the result section 3.3, I changed the incorrect text: “Bivariate correlation analysis showed that soil suppressiveness (SSni) (calculated from the management treatment samples) was positively associated with higher values of various chemical (pH, total N, cation exchange capacity (CEC), Ca and K), physical (water holding capacity (WHC), silt, clay, penetration resistance), microbial parameters (microbial biomass C and N (MBC and MBN)), soil respiration (SR), microbial quotient (qMic), earthworm number and biomass, and labile carbon fractions (hydrophilic dissolved organic carbon (Hy-DOC), permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC) and hot water extractable carbon (HWEC)) (Table S4). In contrast, we found negative correlations with C to N ratio (C/N), bulk density (BD), sand, tea bag decomposition, dissolved organic carbon and hydrophilic organic carbon specific ultraviolet absorbance (DOC SUVA and Hy SUVA). The partial correlation showed that after normalization for structural differences between the LTEs (i.e. for the pedoclimatic characteristics) higher values of total N, MBC, soil respiration, qMic, earthworm number, tea bag decomposition, Hy SUVA, POXC, HWEC and carbon in the particulate organic matter (POMC) were associated with higher values of SSni, while higher values of C to N ratio, and DOC SUVA were associated with lower values of SSni (Table 4).“ Table 1 (see below): The unit of tea bag decomposition is % mass loss and not g mass loss. Tables 4 and 5 (see below): The now positive partial correlation of tea bag decomposition with soil suppressiveness is similar to that of MBC, soil respiration and qMic, which makes more sense. However, decomposition based on the tea bag method is not one of the most important variables in later analyses (simple mixed linear models in Table 5), so it would not have been used in the structural equation model and it is not at variance with later results. Table S4 (see below): The now negative bivariate correlation of the bag decomposition with soil suppressiveness is due to the fact that the long-term field experiments CH1 and CH2 have high values of soil suppressiveness but low decomposition values. I, therefore, would like to request a correction of the manuscript in the indicated section, and I submit this request together with the corrections in the contact form available on the Elsevier Journal Article Publishing Support Center. Sincerely, Giulia Bongiorno [Table presented] [Table presented] [Table presented] [Table presented] The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Soil management intensity shifts microbial catabolic profiles across a range of European long-term field experiments
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Mäder, Paul ; Oguejiofor, Chidinma U. ; Goede, Ron G.M. de - \ 2020
    Applied Soil Ecology 154 (2020). - ISSN 0929-1393
    Community level physiological profiling - Microbial functional diversity - MicroResp™ - Organic matter addition - Structural equation modelling - Tillage

    Assessing soil microbial functionality has the potential to reveal meaningful effects of soil management on soil processes influencing soil quality. We used MicroResp™ to assess microbial respiration upon the addition of six carbon substrates (glucose, alanine, aminobutyric acid, N-acetyl glucosamine, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, and lignin). From this, we calculated the multiple substrate induced respiration (MSIR), the microbial catabolic profile expressed as absolute and relative utilization rate, and the Shannon microbial functional diversity index (H′). We tested the effect of tillage (reduced vs. conventional) and organic matter addition (high vs. low) on these microbial parameters in soil from 10 European long-term field experiments (LTEs), and investigated their relationships with labile organic carbon fractions and various soil parameters linked to soil functions. Reduced tillage and high organic matter input increased MSIR compared to conventional tillage and low organic matter input. In addition, reduced tillage resulted in a small but significant increase in functional diversity compared to conventional tillage. An increase in soil management intensity (CT-Low > CT-High > RT-Low > RT-High) was associated with lower utilization of all the substrates expressed as absolute utilization rate, and a proportionately higher utilization of alpha-ketoglutaric acid compared to the other substrates. More intensive management systems also showed lower soil quality as measured by various soil parameters, in particular total and labile organic carbon, basal respiration, and microbial biomass nitrogen. The present work shows for the first time the key role of labile organic carbon, as affected by soil management, in determining microbial functional diversity. Aggregating results from 10 European arable LTEs, making use of a comprehensive dataset, MicroResp™ showed that reduced tillage and increased organic matter addition created a more favourable habitat for the microbial community to utilize different carbon substrates and, thereby, the potential for nutrient cycling.

    More frequent droughts slow down litter decomposition across European agroecosystems and increase the importance of earthworm functional diversity
    Silva, Pedro Martins da; Nascimento, Eduardo ; Reis, Filipa ; Briones, Maria J.I. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Sousa, José Paulo - \ 2020
    Applied Soil Ecology 153 (2020). - ISSN 0929-1393
    Climate change - Community weighted means - Decomposition - Ecological groups - Land-use - Niche complementarity

    Effects of increasing rainfall variability and weather extremes on litter decomposition are still uncertain, especially in agroecosystems, where the functional structure of soil communities is already affected. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to evaluate the impacts of different rain regimes and land management on litter mass loss and earthworm ecological groups (epigeic, endogeic and anecic) across European agroecosystems. We also tested if the effects of different rainfall regimes (normal, drought, flooding, intermittent) on earthworm functional diversity (FD) or community-weighted mean (CWM) of earthworm ecological groups (particularly anecic species in the case of CWM), affected litter mass loss across land-use types. We found that drought was the main factor retarding litter mass loss across European agroecosystems irrespective of management type. The effects of the rain regime on litter mass loss were coupled with the pedoclimatic conditions that were different among the studied European land-use types. Across land-use types the importance of earthworm communities for litter decomposition was higher under water depletion. These results also suggest that FD, as a proxy of niche complementarity, is crucial for the stability of the decomposition process under environmental disturbances. The FD values under drought regimes strongly indicated that climatic changes may slow down litter decomposition as a result of FD alterations that could compromise the long-term maintenance of litter mass loss. This result may be especially relevant for the European soils that are already under hydric stress, such as in most Mediterranean agroecosystems.

    Compared to conventional, ecological intensive management promotes beneficial proteolytic soil microbial communities for agro-ecosystem functioning under climate change-induced rain regimes
    Lori, Martina ; Piton, Gabin ; Symanczik, Sarah ; Legay, Nicolas ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Jaenicke, Sebastian ; Nascimento, Eduardo ; Reis, Filipa ; Sousa, José Paulo ; Mäder, Paul ; Gattinger, Andreas ; Clément, Jean Christophe ; Foulquier, Arnaud - \ 2020
    Scientific Reports 10 (2020)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

    Projected climate change and rainfall variability will affect soil microbial communities, biogeochemical cycling and agriculture. Nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient in agroecosystems and its cycling and availability is highly dependent on microbial driven processes. In agroecosystems, hydrolysis of organic nitrogen (N) is an important step in controlling soil N availability. We analyzed the effect of management (ecological intensive vs. conventional intensive) on N-cycling processes and involved microbial communities under climate change-induced rain regimes. Terrestrial model ecosystems originating from agroecosystems across Europe were subjected to four different rain regimes for 263 days. Using structural equation modelling we identified direct impacts of rain regimes on N-cycling processes, whereas N-related microbial communities were more resistant. In addition to rain regimes, management indirectly affected N-cycling processes via modifications of N-related microbial community composition. Ecological intensive management promoted a beneficial N-related microbial community composition involved in N-cycling processes under climate change-induced rain regimes. Exploratory analyses identified phosphorus-associated litter properties as possible drivers for the observed management effects on N-related microbial community composition. This work provides novel insights into mechanisms controlling agro-ecosystem functioning under climate change.

    Productivity and topsoil quality of young and old permanent grassland : An on-farm comparison
    Iepema, Goaitske ; Deru, Joachim G.C. ; Bloem, Jaap ; Hoekstra, Nyncke ; Goede, Ron de; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Eekeren, Nick van - \ 2020
    Sustainability 12 (2020)7. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Grassland productivity - Grassland renewal - Nitrogen - Production system - Soil functions - Soil organic matter - Sustainable land-use

    Renewing agricultural grasslands for improved yields and forage quality generally involves eliminating standing vegetation with herbicides, ploughing and reseeding. However, grassland renewal may negatively affect soil quality and related ecosystem services. On clay soil in the north of the Netherlands, we measured grass productivity and soil chemical parameters of 'young' (5-15 years since last grassland renewal) and 'old' (>20 years since last grassland renewal) permanent grasslands, located as pairs at 10 different dairy farms. We found no significant difference with old permanent grassland in herbage dry matter yield and fertilizer nitrogen (N) response, whereas herbage N yield was lower in young permanent grassland. Moreover, the young grassland soil contained less soil organic matter (SOM), soil organic carbon (C) and soil organic N compared to the old grassland soil. Grass productivity was positively correlated with SOM and related parameters such as soil organic C, soil organic N and potentially mineralizable N. We conclude that on clay soils with 70% desirable grasses (i.e., Lolium perenne and Phleum pratense) or more, the presumed yield benefit of grassland renewal is offset by a loss of soil quality (SOM and N-total). The current practice of renewing grassland after 10 years without considering the botanical composition, is counter-productive and not sustainable.

    Metabarcoding of nematode communities for soil quality evaluation
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Bodenhausen, Natacha ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Geisen, Stefan ; Mäder, Paul ; Quist, Casper ; Walser, Jean-Claude ; Goede, Ron de - \ 2019
    Wageningen University
    PRJEB32262 - ERP114920 - nematodes - nematode community - soil quality
    Nematodes are abundant and diverse in nearly any soil, and directly and indirectly contribute to important soil functions such as nutrient cycling, decomposition, and pest and pathogen regulation. In addition, nematode communities have been shown to be sensitive to agricultural management such as tillage and organic matter additions. As such, soil nematode are promising indicators for soil quality. Morphological assessment of nematode communities and indices such as the maturity index (MI), enrichment index (EI), structure index (SI) and channel index (CI) have been used for soil quality evaluations. Molecular methods to study community composition and diversity offer advantages compared to traditional methods in terms of cost, time, resolution and throughput. Thus far, the use of molecular data to calculate indices has not received much attention. In the present study we used molecular methods to: i) assess the effects of soil management on nematode qPCR counts, alpha- and beta- diversity, and food web indices; ii) identify nematode taxa specific to certain soil management, and iii) investigate the relationship between nematode community parameters with soil chemical, physical and biological parameters. We assessed nematodes communities with metabarcoding in 10 European long-term field experiments to study the effect of tillage (conventional vs reduced) and organic matter addition (low vs high).
    Reduced tillage, but not organic matter input, increased nematode diversity and food web stability in European long‐term field experiments
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Bodenhausen, Natacha ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Geisen, Stefan ; Mäder, Paul ; Quist, Casper W. ; Walser, Jean-Claude ; Goede, Ron G.M. de - \ 2019
    Molecular Ecology 28 (2019)22. - ISSN 0962-1083 - p. 4987 - 5005.
    Soil nematode communities and food web indices can inform about the complexity, nutrient flows and decomposition pathways of soil food webs, reflecting soil quality. Relative abundance of nematode feeding and life‐history groups are used for calculating food web indices, i.e., maturity index (MI), enrichment index (EI), structure index (SI) and channel index (CI). Molecular methods to study nematode communities potentially offer advantages compared to traditional methods in terms of resolution, throughput, cost and time. In spite of such advantages, molecular data have not often been adopted so far to assess the effects of soil management on nematode communities and to calculate these food web indices. Here, we used high‐throughput amplicon sequencing to investigate the effects of tillage (conventional vs. reduced) and organic matter addition (low vs. high) on nematode communities and food web indices in 10 European long‐term field experiments and we assessed the relationship between nematode communities and soil parameters. We found that nematode communities were more strongly affected by tillage than by organic matter addition. Compared to conventional tillage, reduced tillage increased nematode diversity (23% higher Shannon diversity index), nematode community stability (12% higher MI), structure (24% higher SI), and the fungal decomposition channel (59% higher CI), and also the number of herbivorous nematodes (70% higher). Total and labile organic carbon, available K and microbial parameters explained nematode community structure. Our findings show that nematode communities are sensitive indicators of soil quality and that molecular profiling of nematode communities has the potential to reveal the effects of soil management on soil quality.
    Bodemtop snijdt hete hangijzers aan
    Brussaard, L. - \ 2019
    Applying ecosystem services for pre-market environmental risk assessments of regulated stressors
    Devos, Y. ; Munns Jr., W.R. ; Forbes, V.E. ; Maltby, Lorraine ; Stenseke, Marie ; Brussaard, L. ; Streissl, F. ; Hardy, A. - \ 2019
    In: Proceedings of the Third EFSA Scientific Conference: Science, Food and Society Guest / Devos, Y., Elliott, K.C., Hardy, A., John Wiley and Sons (EFSA Journal S1)
    Ecosystem services (ES) are the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. Investigating the environment through an ES framework has gained wide acceptance in the international scientific community and is applied by policymakers to protect biodiversity and safeguard the sustainability of ecosystems. This approach can enhance the ecological and societal relevance of pre‐market/prospective environmental risk assessments (ERAs) of regulated stressors by: (1) informing the derivation of operational protection goals; (2) enabling the integration of environmental and human health risk assessments; (3) facilitating horizontal integration of policies and regulations; (4) leading to more comprehensive and consistent environmental protection; (5) articulating the utility of, and trade‐offs involved in, environmental decisions; and (6) enhancing the transparency of risk assessment results and the decisions based upon them. Realisation of these advantages will require challenges that impede acceptance of an ES approach to be overcome. Particularly, there is concern that, if biodiversity only matters to the extent that it benefits humans, the intrinsic value of nature is ignored. Moreover, our understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver ES is incomplete, valuing ES is complex, and there is no standard ES lexicon and limited familiarity with the approach. To help overcome these challenges, we encourage: (1) further research to establish biodiversity–ES relationships; (2) the development of approaches that (i) quantitatively translate responses to chemical stressors by organisms and groups of organisms to ES delivery across different spatial and temporal scales, (ii) measure cultural ES and ease their integration into ES valuations, and (iii) appropriately value changes in ES delivery so that trade‐offs among different management options can be assessed; (3) the establishment of a standard ES lexicon; and (4) building capacity in ES science and how to apply ES to ERAs. These development needs should not prevent movement towards implementation of an ES approach in ERAs, as the advantages we perceive of using this approach render it more than worthwhile to tackle those challenges. Society and the environment stand to benefit from this shift in how we conduct the ERA of regulated stressors.
    Responses of earthworm communities to crop residue management after inoculation of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758)
    Frazão, Joana ; Goede, Ron G.M. de; Salánki, Tamás E. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Faber, Jack H. ; Hedde, Mickaël ; Pulleman, Mirjam M. - \ 2019
    Applied Soil Ecology 142 (2019). - ISSN 0929-1393 - p. 177 - 188.
    Arable field - Community weighted mean - Crop residue availability - Rao's quadratic entropy - Tillage - Trait-based approach

    Earthworms are important for soil functioning in arable cropping systems and earthworm species differ in their response to soil tillage and crop residue management. Lumbricus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) are rare in intensively tilled arable fields. In two parallel field trials with either non-inversion (NIT) or conventional tillage (CT), we investigated the feasibility of inoculating L. terrestris under different crop residue management (amounts and placement). Simultaneously, we monitored the response of the existing earthworm communities to L. terrestris inoculation and to crop residue treatments in terms of earthworm density, species diversity and composition, ecological groups and functional diversity. L. terrestris densities were not affected by residue management. We were not able to infer effects of the inoculation on the existing earthworm communities since L. terrestris also colonized non-inoculated plots. In NIT and two years after trial establishment, the overall native earthworm density was 1.4 and 1.6 times higher, and the epigeic density 2.5 times higher, in treatments with highest residue application (S 100 ) compared to 25% (S 25 ) or no (S 0 ) crop residues, respectively. Residue management did not affect earthworm species composition, nor the functional trait diversity and composition, except for an increase of the community weighted means of bifide typhlosolis in S 0 compared to S 100 . In CT, however, crop residues did have a strong effect on species composition, ecological groups and functional traits. Without crop residues (S 0 ), epigeic density was respectively 20 and 30% lower than with crop residues placed on the soil surface (S 100 ) or incorporated (I 100 ). Community composition was clearly affected by crop residues. Trait diversity was 2.6 to 3 times larger when crop residues were provided, irrespective of placement. Crop residues in CT also resulted in heavier earthworms and in a shift in the community towards species with a thicker epidermis and cuticle, a feather typhlosolis shape, and a higher average cocoon production rate. We conclude that earthworm communities under conventional tillage respond more strongly to the amount of crop residue than to its placement. Under non-inversion tillage, crop residue amounts affected earthworm communities, but to a smaller degree than under conventional tillage.

    Soil suppressiveness to Pythium ultimum in ten European long-term field experiments and its relation with soil parameters
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Postma, Joeke ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Goede, Ron G.M. de; Mäder, Paul ; Tamm, Lucius ; Thuerig, Barbara - \ 2019
    Soil Biology and Biochemistry 133 (2019). - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 174 - 187.
    Cress bioassay - Labile organic carbon - Pythium ultimum - Soil management effects - Soil quality parameters - Soil suppressiveness - Tillage

    Soil suppressiveness to pathogens is defined as the capacity of soil to regulate soil-borne pathogens. It can be managed by agricultural practices, but the effects reported so far remain inconsistent. Soil suppressiveness is difficult to predict and for this reason different soil properties have been linked to it with the aim to find informative indicators, but these relationships are not conclusive. The objectives of this study were i) to test if soil suppressiveness is affected by long-term agricultural management such as tillage and organic matter (OM) addition; ii) to understand the direct and indirect relationships between soil suppressiveness and labile organic carbon fractions; and iii) to understand the relationship between soil suppressiveness and other chemical, physical and biological soil quality indicators. We measured soil suppressiveness with a bioassay using Pythium ultimum - Lepidium sativum (cress) as a model system. The bioassay was performed in soils from 10 European long-term field experiments (LTEs) which had as main soil management practices tillage and/or organic matter addition. We found that the site had a stronger influence on soil suppressiveness than agricultural practices. Reduced tillage had a positive effect on the suppressive capacity of the soil across sites using an overall model. Organic farming and mineral fertilization increased soil suppressiveness in some LTEs, but no overall effect of OM was found when aggregating the LTEs. Soil suppressiveness across LTEs was linked mainly to microbial biomass and labile carbon in the soil, but not to total soil organic matter content. From structural equation modelling (SEM) we conclude that labile carbon is important for the maintenance of an abundant and active soil microbial community, which is essential for the expression of soil suppressiveness. However, soil suppressiveness could only partly (25%) be explained by the soil parameters measured, suggesting that other mechanisms contribute to soil suppressiveness such as the presence and the activity of specific bacterial and fungal taxa with high biocontrol activity.

    iSQAPER task WP 3.3 soil quality indicators : Influence of soil type and land management on chemical, physical and biological soil parameters assessed visually and analytically
    Hoek, J. ; Berg, W. van den; Wesselink, M. ; Sukkel, W. ; Mäder, P. ; Bünemann, E. ; Bongiorno, G. ; Goede, R. de; Brussaard, L. ; Bai, Z. ; Haagsma, W. ; Verstegen, H. ; Glavan, M. ; Ferreira, C.S. ; Garcia Orenes, F. ; Toth, Z. ; Zhang, W. ; Fan, H. ; Fu, H. ; Gao, H. ; Xu, M. - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Stichting Wageningen Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Business unit Open Teelten (Wageningen Plant Research Report 783) - 114
    Recovery of nutrients from the liquid fraction of digestate : Use of enriched zeolite and biochar as nitrogen fertilizers
    Kocatürk-Schumacher, Nazlı Pelin ; Zwart, Kor ; Bruun, Sander ; Jensen, Lars Stoumann ; Sørensen, Helle ; Brussaard, Lijbert - \ 2019
    Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 182 (2019)2. - ISSN 1436-8730 - p. 187 - 195.
    biogas digestate - clinoptilolite - double-pot technique - enriched sorbent - initial loading - slow release N fertilizer

    The liquid fraction after liquid/solid separation of biogas digestate has a high potential as a fertilizer due to its high nutrient concentration. However, the direct application of digestate in agricultural fields results in practical problems due to its voluminous nature. One solution to this could be to concentrate nutrients onto sorbents such as biochar or zeolites, which can subsequently be used as a fertilizer. This study investigated the ability of biochar and zeolite ‘clinoptilolite' enriched with digestate nutrients to supply nitrogen (N) when used as a fertilizer. A pot experiment with ryegrass was conducted to test the effect of a nutrient-enriched biochar and clinoptilolite by determining plant biomass growth and N uptake. This included untreated biochar and clinoptilolite as controls and two levels of N application (15 and 45 mg N per pot) each at two initial loading ratios (low and high). Nutrient-enriched biochar and clinoptilolite increased plant biomass yield (up to 1.02 and 2.39 g per pot) and N uptake (up to 11.23 and 39.94 mg N per pot) compared to the untreated sorbents treatments. Initial loading ratio had a significant effect on plant biomass response and apparent N recovery (ANR) for enriched clinoptilolite, and lower initial loading ratio improved plant growth. In contrast to clinoptilolite, higher initial loading ratio resulted in higher ANR. In conclusion, our results reveal that N released from enriched clinoptilolite and biochar could be taken up by the plants, clinoptilolite performed more effectively than biochar, and initial loading ratio affected the performance of the sorbents when used as a fertilizer.

    Sensitivity of labile carbon fractions to tillage and organic matter management and their potential as comprehensive soil quality indicators across pedoclimatic conditions in Europe
    Bongiorno, Giulia ; Bünemann, Else K. ; Oguejiofor, Chidinma U. ; Meier, Jennifer ; Gort, Gerrit ; Comans, Rob ; Mäder, Paul ; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Goede, Ron de - \ 2019
    Ecological Indicators 99 (2019). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 38 - 50.
    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) - Hot water extractable carbon (HWEC) - Hydrophilic dissolved organic carbon (Hy-DOC) - Long-term experimental field (LTEs) - Particulate organic matter carbon (POMC) - Permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC)

    Soil quality is defined as the capacity of the soil to perform multiple functions, and can be assessed by measuring soil chemical, physical and biological parameters. Among soil parameters, labile organic carbon is considered to have a primary role in many soil functions related to productivity and environmental resilience. Our study aimed at assessing the suitability of different labile carbon fractions, namely dissolved organic carbon (DOC), hydrophilic DOC (Hy-DOC), permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC, also referred to as Active Carbon), hot water extractable carbon (HWEC) and particulate organic matter carbon (POMC) as soil quality indicators in agricultural systems. To do so, we tested their sensitivity to two agricultural management factors (tillage and organic matter input) in 10 European long-term field experiments (LTEs), and we assessed the correlation of the different labile carbon fractions with physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators linked to soil functions. We found that reduced tillage and high organic matter input increase concentrations of labile carbon fractions in soil compared to conventional tillage and low organic matter addition, respectively. POXC and POMC were the most sensitive fractions to both tillage and fertilization across the 10 European LTEs. In addition, POXC was the labile carbon fraction most positively correlated with soil chemical (total organic carbon, total nitrogen, and cation exchange capacity), physical (water stable aggregates, water holding capacity, bulk density) and biological soil quality indicators (microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, and soil respiration). We conclude that POXC represents a labile carbon fraction sensitive to soil management and that is the most informative about total soil organic matter, nutrients, soil structure, and microbial pools and activity, parameters commonly used as indicators of various soil functions, such as C sequestration, nutrient cycling, soil structure formation and soil as a habitat for biodiversity. Moreover, POXC measurement is relatively cheap, fast and easy. Therefore, we suggest measuring POXC as the labile carbon fraction in soil quality assessment schemes in addition to other valuable soil quality indicators.

    Predicting soil N supply and yield parameters in peat grasslands
    Deru, Joachim G.C. ; Bloem, Jaap ; Goede, Ron de; Hoekstra, Nyncke ; Keidel, Harm ; Kloen, Henk ; Nierop, Andreas ; Rutgers, Michiel ; Schouten, Ton ; Akker, Jan van den; Brussaard, Lijbert ; Eekeren, Nick van - \ 2019
    Applied Soil Ecology 134 (2019). - ISSN 0929-1393 - p. 77 - 84.
    Apparent N recovery - Grass yield - N mineralization - Soil biota - Soil chemical-physical quality - Soil nitrogen supply - Terric Histosols

    Considerable nitrogen (N) mineralization occurs in drained peat soils in use for dairy grassland, due to aerobic decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). N losses may be limited by matching grass N uptake with N mineralization and by adapting on-farm fertilization schemes to soil N supply (SNS) and apparent N recovery (ANR). Previous attempts to predict SNS of peat grasslands from soil parameters have been unsuccessful, partly due to high variation in SNS between sites and years. In this paper, we present field data from twenty dairy grasslands on drained peat (29–65% SOM; Terric Histosols). Grass yield parameters (e.g. SNS and ANR) were compared with a comprehensive data set of soil biotic and abiotic properties measured at the start of the growing season, and with N mineralization calculated from this data. SNS ranged between 171 and 377 kg N ha−1 (mean: 264 kg N ha−1) during the growing season. Soil N mineralization estimated by laboratory incubation and by foodweb-based production ecological calculations gave similar mean values with slightly higher coefficients of variation, but correlations with SNS were not significant. Regression analysis with soil properties showed a positive correlation between SNS and soil Ca:Mg ratio and a negative correlation between fertilized grass yield and soil C:SOM ratio. No significant models were found for ANR. Based on our data and on literature, we conclude that these parameters indicate linkages between grass yield and soil physical-hydrological properties such as soil structure and water availability. In particular, the C:SOM ratio in these soils with high organic matter content may be an indicator of water repellency, and our results suggest that grass growth was limited by drought more than by nutrient availability.

    Circular agriculture has already started
    Zanten, H.H.E. van; Boer, I.J.M. de; Oenema, O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Sukkel, W. ; Verhoeven, Frank ; Poppe, K.J. ; Zanders, R. ; Scholten, M.C.T. - \ 2018
    agriculture - cycling - biobased economy - agricultural wastes - biomass - sustainability
    De kringlooplandbouw is al begonnen
    Zanten, H.H.E. van; Scholten, M.C.T. ; Boer, I.J.M. de; Oenema, O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Sukkel, W. ; Poppe, K.J. - \ 2018
    biobased economy - agriculture - cycling - farmers - biomass - agricultural wastes - circular agriculture
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