Next Article in Journal
Snapshot of Photovoltaics—March 2017
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluation of Third Party Logistics Providers Considering Social Sustainability
Previous Article in Special Issue
Assessing the Sodium Exchange Capacity in Rainfed and Irrigated Soils in the Mediterranean Basin Using GIS
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 778; doi:10.3390/su9050778

Seasonal and Interannual Fluctuation of the Microbial Soil Community in a Maize Field under Long-Term Conservation Agriculture Management

1
Departmento de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
2
Área de Edafología y Química Agrícola (Facultad de Ciencias) and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
3
Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre, Escola Superior Agrária de Elvas, 7350 Elvas, Portugal
4
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, LEAF, Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
5
Área de Producción Vegetal (Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias) and IACYS, Universidad de Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
6
CIEO—Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [17057 KB, uploaded 9 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Soil’s microbiological settlement in a Zea mays parcel under long-term agricultural practices aiming to minimize the disruption of the soil’s structure, composition and natural biodiversity was analyzed by culture-dependent and culture-independent processes. Of the different processes, morphological-type differentiation of cultured microflora produced the best results and, while Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-agarose electrophoresis has also provided us with reliable ones, soil PCR-DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) did not, which may occur because of the dependence of the method on the practice. Over a three-year period, this soil seemed very stable as its C/N ratio remained roughly constant and available for microbial growth. Because no soil overturning occurred, we were able to maintain most of the cultured microbial population whose fluctuations depended only on edaphoclimatic conditions. The number of cultured bacteria, molds, total microorganisms, and the biodiversity indices were usually lower in the driest season (fall) than in the rest of the year, except for Acinetobacter and Stenotrophomonas, which showed the opposite behavior. Coincident with the rise in temperature during the summer, the relative abundance of Gram+ bacteria increased, mostly reflecting an increase in the spore-forming bacteria Streptomyces and Bacillus. Despite these variations, the evenness index and the quantity of distinct microbiological life remained practically unaltered, recovering their maximum levels when the proper edaphoclimatic conditions were present, which indicates the long-term stability of the microbial community in this soil. The performed study put forward important insights for assessing the sustainability of maize production under long-term conservation agriculture management systems, highlighting that adequate management might prevent the degradation of soil quality, thus contributing to promote sustainable agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil microorganisms; maize field; conservation management; seasonal fluctuation; ecosystem sustainability soil microorganisms; maize field; conservation management; seasonal fluctuation; ecosystem sustainability
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ramírez, M.; López-Piñeiro, A.; Peña, D.; Rato Nunes, J.; Albarrán, Á.; Muñoz, A.; Gama, J.; Loures, L. Seasonal and Interannual Fluctuation of the Microbial Soil Community in a Maize Field under Long-Term Conservation Agriculture Management. Sustainability 2017, 9, 778.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top