Abundance, production and stabilization of microbial biomass under conventional and reduced tillage
Groenigen, K.J. van; Bloem, J. ; Baath, E. ; Boeckx, P. ; Rousk, J. ; Bodé, S. ; Forristal, P.D. ; Jones, M.B. - \ 2010
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42 (2010)1. - ISSN 0038-0717 - p. 48 - 55.
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi - particle-size fractions - amino sugar signature - leucine incorporation - carbon sequestration - enzyme-activities - c sequestration - organic-carbon - soil - bacterial
Soil tillage practices affect the soil microbial community in various ways, with possible consequences for nitrogen (N) losses, plant growth and soil organic carbon (C) sequestration. As microbes affect soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics largely through their activity, their impact may not be deduced from biomass measurements alone. Moreover, residual microbial tissue is thought to facilitate SOM stabilization, and to provide a long term integrated measure of effects on the microorganisms. In this study, we therefore compared the effect of reduced (RT) and conventional tillage (CT) on the biomass, growth rate and residues of the major microbial decomposer groups fungi and bacteria. Soil samples were collected at two depths (0–5 cm and 5–20 cm) from plots in an Irish winter wheat field that were exposed to either conventional or shallow non-inversion tillage for 7 growing seasons. Total soil fungal and bacterial biomasses were estimated using epifluorescence microscopy. To separate between biomass of saprophytic fungi and arbuscular mycorrhizae, samples were analyzed for ergosterol and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers. Growth rates of saprophytic fungi were determined by [14C]acetate-in-ergosterol incorporation, whereas bacterial growth rates were determined by the incorporation of 3H-leucine in bacterial proteins. Finally, soil contents of fungal and bacterial residues were estimated by quantifying microbial derived amino sugars. Reduced tillage increased the total biomass of both bacteria and fungi in the 0–5 cm soil layer to a similar extent. Both ergosterol and PLFA analyses indicated that RT increased biomass of saprophytic fungi in the 0–5 cm soil layer. In contrast, RT increased the biomass of arbuscular mycorrhizae as well as its contribution to the total fungal biomass across the whole plough layer. Growth rates of both saprotrophic fungi and bacteria on the other hand were not affected by soil tillage, possibly indicating a decreased turnover rate of soil microbial biomass under RT. Moreover, RT did not affect the proportion of microbial residues that were derived from fungi. In summary, our results suggest that RT can promote soil C storage without increasing the role of saprophytic fungi in SOM dynamics relative to that of bacteria.
Effects of free atmospheric CO2 enrichment (FACE), N fertilization and poplar genotype on the physical protection of carbon in the mineral soil of a poplar plantation after five years
Hoosbeek, M.R. ; Vos, J.M. ; Bakker, E.J. ; Scarascia-Mugnozza, G. - \ 2006
Biogeosciences 3 (2006)4. - ISSN 1726-4170 - p. 479 - 487.
organic-matter dynamics - elevated co2 - biomass production - cultivated soils - c sequestration - forest - turnover - aggregate - storage - rotation
Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments in aggrading forests and plantations have demonstrated significant increases in net primary production (NPP) and C storage in forest vegetation. The extra C uptake may also be stored in forest floor litter and in forest soil. After five years of FACE treatment at the EuroFACE short rotation poplar plantation, the increase of total soil C% was larger under elevated than under ambient CO2. However, the fate of this additional C allocated belowground remains unclear. The stability of soil organic matter is controlled by the chemical structure of the organic matter and the formation of micro-aggregates (within macro-aggregates) in which organic matter is stabilized and protected. FACE and N-fertilization treatment did not affect the micro- and macro-aggregate weight, C or N fractions obtained by wet sieving. However, Populus euramericana increased the small macro-aggregate and free micro-aggregate weight and C fractions. The obtained macro-aggregates were broken up in order to isolate recently formed micro-aggregates within macro-aggregates (iM-micro-aggregates). FACE increased the iM-micro-aggregate weight and C fractions, although not significantly. This study reveals that FACE did not affect the formation of aggregates. We did, however, observe a trend of increased stabilization and protection of soil C in micro-aggregates formed within macro-aggregates under FACE. Moreover, the largest effect on aggregate formation was due to differences in species, i.e. poplar genotype. P. euramericana increased the formation of free micro-aggregates which means that more newly incorporated soil C was stabilized and protected. The choice of species in a plantation, or the effect of global change on species diversity, may therefore affect the stabilization and protection of C in soils.
The impact of grassland ploughing on CO2 and N2O emissions in the Netherlands
Vellinga, T.V. ; Pol, A. van den; Kuikman, P.J. - \ 2004
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 70 (2004)1. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 33 - 45.
dairy farming system - soil carbon stocks - land-use change - organic-matter - agricultural soils - n-mineralization - c sequestration - management - nitrogen - denitrification
The contribution of ploughing permanent grassland and leys to emissions of N2O and CO2 is not yet well known. In this paper, the contribution of ploughing permanent grassland and leys, including grassland renovation, to CO2 and N2O emissions and mitigation options are explored. Land use changes in the Netherlands during 1970–2020 are used as a case study. Three grassland management operations are defined: (i) conversion of permanent grassland to arable land and leys; (ii) rotations of leys with arable crops or bulbs; and (iii) grassland renovation. The Introductory Carbon Balance Model (ICBM) is modified to calculate C and N accumulation and release. Model calibration is based on ICBM parameters, soil organic N data and C to N ratios. IPCC emission factors are used to estimate N2O-emissions. The model is validated with data from the Rothamsted Park Grass experiments. Conversion of permanent grassland to arable land, a ley arable rotation of 3 years ley and 3 years arable crops, and a ley bulb rotation of 6 years ley and one year bulbs, result in calculated N2O and CO2 emissions totalling 250, 150 and 30 ton CO2-equivalents ha–1, respectively. Most of this comes from CO2. Emissions are very high directly after ploughing and decrease slowly over a period of more than 50 years. N2O emissions in 3/3 ley arable rotation and 6/1 ley bulb rotation are 2.1 and 11.0 ton CO2-equivalents ha–1 year–1, respectively. From each grassland renovation, N2O emissions amount to 1.8 to 5.5 ton CO2-equivalents ha–1. The calculated total annual emissions caused by ploughing in the Netherlands range from 0.5 to 0.65 Mton CO2-equivalents year–1. Grassland renovation in spring offers realistic opportunities to lower the N2O emissions. Developing appropriate combinations of ley, arable crops and bulbs, will reduce the need for conversion of permanent pasture. It will also decrease the rotational losses, due to a decreased proportion of leys in rotations. Also spatial policies are effective in reducing emissions of CO2 and N2O. Grassland ploughing contributes significantly to N2O and CO2 emissions. The conclusion can be drawn that total N2O emissions are underestimated, because emissions from grassland ploughing are not taken into account. Specific emission factors and the development of mitigation options are required to account for the emissions and to realise a reduction of emissions due to the changes in grassland ploughing.