Soil Biodiversity in Sustainable Agriculture

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Soils".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 November 2022) | Viewed by 10643

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CEBAS-CSIC, Group of Soil Enzimology and Biorremediation and Organic Wastes, Campus de Espinardo, E-30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: soil quality; soil microbial community; metagenomic; metabolomic; biocontrol; composting; horticulture; beneficial microorganisms

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CEBAS-CSIC, Group of Soil Enzimology and Biorremediation and Organic Wastes, Campus de Espinardo, E-30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: microbial ecology; microbial diversity; biodiversity; fungal community; bacterial community; soil quality; soil organic matter
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soils are the living upper part of the Earth’s crust, and an integral part of the element cycles. They are a limited and increasingly finite resource, which comes under increasing pressure from human activities, including agriculture, due to the increasing need for extra food, which depends on soil as its main pillar.

Soil biodiversity is the key parameter for maintaining the fertility and productivity of the soils, thereby safeguarding food production. Soil biodiversity is the result of a multitude of living organisms, all of which have several important characteristics, functions, and ecological interactions. Therefore, farmers, the public, and policy makers must agree that soil is of paramount importance, and therefore, strategies for its protection should be found.

The existence of a rich soil biodiversity and its ability to provide “ecological services” or functions should not be taken for granted. Different farming practices have been developed and implemented which clearly protect soils and safeguard soil organisms. However, the complex ecological interactions between soil organisms and agriculture are not fully understood yet, and there is a need for continued research.

The aim of this issue is to highlight the importance of soil biodiversity in a sustainable agriculture. Manuscripts dealing with an adequate plant rotation or intercropping, conservation tillage/non-tillage, reduced use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, biocontrol, beneficial microorganisms, chemical and non-chemical disinfection, anaerobic disinfection, and organic agriculture on field experiments will be welcomed. Studies of taxonomic, functional, and metabolic soil biodiversity and their interaction with physical, chemical, biological, and enzymatic soil properties will also be considered.

Dr. Margarita Ros
Dr. José Antonio Pascual
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • organic fertilization
  • horticulture
  • metagenomics
  • metabolomics
  • soil properties
  • soil quality
  • crop yield, soil enzyme activities
  • bacterial and fungal community

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 3043 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Soil Fungal Community in Aged Apple Orchards in Luochuan County, Shaanxi Province
by Xin Xu, Weitao Jiang, Gongshuai Wang, Fengxia Ding, Qianjin Li, Ruolan Wang, Xuesen Chen, Xiang Shen, Chengmiao Yin and Zhiquan Mao
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010063 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The Luochuan area is an important area for apple production in China. With the renewal and transformation of aged apple orchards, the occurrence of apple replant disease (ARD) was inevitable and has seriously affected the sustainable development of apples. Therefore, we randomly selected [...] Read more.
The Luochuan area is an important area for apple production in China. With the renewal and transformation of aged apple orchards, the occurrence of apple replant disease (ARD) was inevitable and has seriously affected the sustainable development of apples. Therefore, we randomly selected 14 soil samples from aged apple orchards in the Luochuan area to study the structural changes in the soil fungal community. The results showed that there were significant differences in the diversity of fungal communities between different aged apple orchards. The harmful fungi Gibberella, Fusarium, and Cryptococcus existed in 14 aged apple orchards in the Luochuan area, but their abundances were different in different aged apple orchards. A FUN Guild analysis showed that fungi were mainly present in the aged apple orchards in Luochuan in the saprotroph and pathotroph nutrition modes. Pathogenic fungi were widely present, which increased the risk of disease and seriously affected the growth and development of fruit trees. To sum up, there was a strong correlation between the ages of orchards and the unbalanced microbial community structure. Therefore, pathogenic fungi could be prevented and controlled during the renewal and transformation of aged orchards to reduce the impact of ARD on the apple industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Biodiversity in Sustainable Agriculture)
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18 pages, 4370 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Soil Biology Quality in Organically and Conventionally Managed Agro-Ecosystems Using Microarthropods
by Cristina Mantoni, Marika Pellegrini, Leonardo Dapporto, Maria Maddalena Del Gallo, Loretta Pace, Donato Silveri and Simone Fattorini
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11101022 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2974
Abstract
Since management practices profoundly influence soil characteristics, the adoption of sustainable agro-ecological practices is essential for soil health conservation. We compared soil health in organic and conventional fields in the Abruzzi region (central Italy) by using (1) the soil biology quality (QBS) index [...] Read more.
Since management practices profoundly influence soil characteristics, the adoption of sustainable agro-ecological practices is essential for soil health conservation. We compared soil health in organic and conventional fields in the Abruzzi region (central Italy) by using (1) the soil biology quality (QBS) index (which expresses the level of specialisation in soil environment shown by microarthropods) and (2) microarthropod diversity expressed by Hill numbers. QBS values were calculated using both the original formulation based on only presence/absence data and a new abundance-based version. We found that organic management improves soil biology quality, which encourages the use of organic farming to maintain soil health. Including arthropod abundance in QBS calculation does not change the main outcomes, which supports the use of its original, speedier formulation. We also found that agricultural fields included in protected areas had greater soil health, which shows the importance of the matrix in determining agricultural soil health and highlights the importance of land protection in preserving biodiversity even in managed soils. Finally, we found that soil biology quality and microarthropod community structure are distinctly influenced by certain physical and chemical characteristics of the soil, which supports the use of microarthropods as biological indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Biodiversity in Sustainable Agriculture)
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19 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Changes in Bacterial and Fungal Soil Communities in Long-Term Organic Cropping Systems
by Jessica Cuartero, Onurcan Özbolat, Virginia Sánchez-Navarro, Marcos Egea-Cortines, Raúl Zornoza, Loredana Canfora, Luigi Orrù, Jose Antonio Pascual, Juana-María Vivo and Margarita Ros
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11050445 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4962
Abstract
Long-term organic farming aims to reduce synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use in order to sustainably produce and improve soil quality. To do this, there is a need for more information about the soil microbial community, which plays a key role in a sustainable [...] Read more.
Long-term organic farming aims to reduce synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use in order to sustainably produce and improve soil quality. To do this, there is a need for more information about the soil microbial community, which plays a key role in a sustainable agriculture. In this paper, we assessed the long-term effects of two organic and one conventional cropping systems on the soil microbial community structure using high-throughput sequencing analysis, as well as the link between these communities and the changes in the soil properties and crop yield. The results showed that the crop yield was similar among the three cropping systems. The microbial community changed according to cropping system. Organic cultivation with manure compost and compost tea (Org_C) showed a change in the bacterial community associated with an improved soil carbon and nutrient content. A linear discriminant analysis effect size showed different bacteria and fungi as key microorganisms for each of the three different cropping systems, for conventional systems (Conv), different microorganisms such as Nesterenkonia, Galbibacter, Gramella, Limnobacter, Pseudoalteromonas, Pantoe, and Sporobolomyces were associated with pesticides, while for Org_C and organic cultivation with manure (Org_M), other types of microorganisms were associated with organic amendments with different functions, which, in some cases, reduce soil borne pathogens. However, further investigations such as functional approaches or network analyses are need to better understand the mechanisms behind this behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Biodiversity in Sustainable Agriculture)
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