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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 317;

Effects of Continuous Tomato Monoculture on Soil Microbial Properties and Enzyme Activities in a Solar Greenhouse

College of Horticulture, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
Land and Environmental College, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
Key Laboratory of Protected Horticulture of Ministry of Education, Shenyang 110866, China
Key Laboratory of Protected Horticulture of Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110866, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ranjan Bhattacharyya and Michael A. Fullen
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
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Soil-related obstacles resulting from continuous monoculture have limited the sustainable development of the tomato industry in China. An experiment on tomatoes with seven continuous monoculture treatments (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th crops, respectively) was conducted in a solar greenhouse, to investigate the influence of monoculture on soil quality. Most soil quality indicators first increased and then decreased with increasing continuous monoculture crops, and significant differences among crops were observed. Indicators at the 13th crop were significantly lower than those at the other crops in terms of average well color development (AWCD), substrate richness (S), the Shannon diversity index (H), and the McIntosh index (U) of the soil microbial community (SMC), soil urease (UR), and neutral phosphatase (N-PHO) activities, and available nitrogen (AN) and potassium (AK). However, fungal abundance (FUN) at the 13th crop was significantly higher than that at the other crops. As principal component analysis (PCA) revealed, SMC functional diversity at the 1st, 11th, and 13th crops were similar, and were obviously distinguished from those at the other crops. Moreover, the tomato yield was significantly and positively correlated with soil-available potassium and SMC functional diversity indexes. Our findings indicated that short-term continuous monoculture, e.g., for fewer than seven or nine crops, was beneficial for soil quality improvement. However, continuous monoculture for greater than 11 crops had adverse effects on soil enzyme activities, soil microbial abundances, soil chemical properties, soil SMC functional diversity, and the tomato yield, particularly at the 13th crop. View Full-Text
Keywords: continuous tomato monoculture; soil microbial properties; soil enzyme; tomato yield continuous tomato monoculture; soil microbial properties; soil enzyme; tomato yield

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Fu, H.; Zhang, G.; Zhang, F.; Sun, Z.; Geng, G.; Li, T. Effects of Continuous Tomato Monoculture on Soil Microbial Properties and Enzyme Activities in a Solar Greenhouse. Sustainability 2017, 9, 317.

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