Land-Use and Land-Management Change: Relationships with Earthworm and Fungi Communities and Soil Structural Properties
Spurgeon, D.J. ; Keith, A.M. ; Schmidt, O. ; Lammertsma, D.R. ; Faber, J.H. - \ 2013
BMC Ecology 13 (2013). - ISSN 1472-6785 - 13 p.
arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi - ectomycorrhizal fungi - aggregate stability - ecosystem services - organic-matter - common garden - no-till - biodiversity - europe - invertebrates
Background Change in land use and management can impact massively on soil ecosystems. Ecosystem engineers and other functional biodiversity in soils can be influenced directly by such change and this in turn can affect key soil functions. Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable¿¿¿no or reduced tillage¿¿¿grassland¿¿¿wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi. An analysis of the relationships between community change and soil structural properties was also included. Results Meta-analysis highlighted a consistent trend of increased earthworm and fungal community abundances and complexity following transitions to lower intensity and later successional land uses. The greatest changes were seen for early stage transitions, such as introduction of reduced tillage regimes and conversion to grassland from arable land. Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics. For example, whether woodland conversion positively or negatively affects community size and complexity depends on woodland type and, potentially, the changes in soil properties, such as pH, that may occur during conversion. Alterations in soil communities tended to facilitate subsequent changes in soil structure and hydrology. For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability. Conclusions These findings raise the potential to manage landscapes to increase ecosystem service provision from soil biota in relation to regulation of soil structure and water flow. Keywords: Meta analysis; Earthworm; Fungi; Functional biodiversity; Soil porosity; Microaggregate stability
European Perspectives on the Adoption of Nonchemical Weed Management in Reduced-Tillage Systems for Arable Crops
Melander, B. ; Munier-Jolain, N.M. ; Charles, R. ; Wirth, J. ; Schwarz, J. ; Weide, R.Y. van der; Bonin, L. ; Jensen, P.K. ; Kudsk, P.K. - \ 2013
Weed Technology 27 (2013)1. - ISSN 0890-037X - p. 231 - 240.
thistle cirsium-arvense - population-dynamics - oilseed rape - no-till - alopecurus-myosuroides - herbicide performance - conservation tillage - cropping systems - stubble tillage - spring barley
Noninversion tillage with tine- or disc-based cultivations prior to crop establishment is the most common way of reducing tillage for arable cropping systems with small grain cereals, oilseed rape, and maize in Europe. However, new regulations on pesticide use might hinder further expansion of reduced-tillage systems. European agriculture is asked to become less dependent on pesticides and promote crop protection programs based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. Conventional noninversion tillage systems rely entirely on the availability of glyphosate products, and herbicide consumption is mostly higher compared to plow-based cropping systems. Annual grass weeds and catchweed bedstraw often constitute the principal weed problems in noninversion tillage systems, and crop rotations concurrently have very high proportions of winter cereals. There is a need to redesign cropping systems to allow for more diversification of the crop rotations to combat these weed problems with less herbicide input. Cover crops, stubble management strategies, and tactics that strengthen crop growth relative to weed growth are also seen as important components in future IPM systems, but their impact in noninversion tillage systems needs validation. Direct mechanical weed control methods based on rotating weeding devices such as rotary hoes could become useful in reduced-tillage systems where more crop residues and less workable soils are more prevalent, but further development is needed for effective application. Owing to the frequent use of glyphosate in reduced-tillage systems, perennial weeds are not particularly problematic. However, results from organic cropping systems clearly reveal that desisting from glyphosate use inevitably leads to more problems with perennials, which need to be addressed in future research.
Medium-term impact of tillage and residue management on soil aggregate stability, soil carbon and crop productivity
Paul, B.K. ; Vanlauwe, B. ; Ayuke, F. ; Gassner, A. ; Hoogmoed, M. ; Hurisso, T.T. ; Koala, S. ; Lelei, D. ; Ndabamenye, T. ; Six, J. ; Pulleman, M.M. - \ 2013
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 164 (2013)1. - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 14 - 22.
organic-matter dynamics - conservation agriculture - no-till - africa - systems - nitrogen - kenya - stabilization - protection - yields
Conservation agriculture is widely promoted for soil conservation and crop productivity increase, although rigorous empirical evidence from sub-Saharan Africa is still limited. This study aimed to quantify the medium-term impact of tillage (conventional and reduced) and crop residue management (retention and removal) on soil and crop performance in a maize–soybean rotation. A replicated field trial was started in sub-humid Western Kenya in 2003, and measurements were taken from 2005 to 2008. Conventional tillage negatively affected soil aggregate stability when compared to reduced tillage, as indicated by lower mean weight diameter values upon wet sieving at 0–15 cm (PT <0.001). This suggests increased susceptibility to slaking and soil erosion. Tillage and residue management alone did not affect soil C contents after 11 cropping seasons, but when residue was incorporated by tillage, soil C was higher at 15–30 cm (PT*R = 0.037). Lack of treatment effects on the C content of different aggregate fractions indicated that reduced tillage and/or residue retention did not increase physical C protection. The weak residue effect on aggregate stability and soil C may be attributed to insufficient residue retention. Soybean grain yields tended to be suppressed under reduced tillage without residue retention, especially in wet seasons (PT*R = 0.070). Consequently, future research should establish, for different climatic zones and soil types, the critical minimum residue retention levels for soil conservation and crop productivity.
Potential effect of conservation tillage on sustainable land use : a review of global long-term studies
Wang Xiaobin, ; Cai, D. ; Hoogmoed, W.B. ; Oenema, O. ; Perdok, U.D. - \ 2006
Pedosphere 16 (2006)5. - ISSN 1002-0160 - p. 587 - 595.
soil organic-matter - no-till - conventional tillage - southern alberta - crop yield - seedling establishment - corn production - winter-wheat - grain-yield - clay soil
Although understood differently in different parts of the world, conservation tillage usually includes leaving crop residues on the soil surface to reduce tillage. Through a global review of long-term conservation tillage research, this paper discusses the long-term effect of conservation tillage on sustainable land use, nutrient availability and crop yield response. Research has shown several potential benefits associated with conservation tillage, such as potential carbon sequestration, nutrient availability, and yield response. This research would provide a better perspective of the role of soil conservation tillage and hold promise in promoting application of practical technologies for dryland farming systems in China.