Special Issue "Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2022 | Viewed by 4502

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yinglong Chen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Interests: root system architecture and functions; root models and simulations; rhizosphere interactions; plant physiology; mycorrhizal technology and applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Masanori Saito
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School of Agriculture, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Interests: mycorrhiza; soil microbiology; environmental impacts; LCA
Dr. Etelvino Henrique Novotny
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Embrapa Soils, Rua Jardim Botânico, 1024 CEP, Rio de Janeiro RJ 22460-000, Brazil
Interests: humic substances; biochar; soil carbon

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As global warming progresses, there are concerns about the decline in agricultural productivity and soil degradation. On the other hand, the demand for food is increasing as the population grows, and the maintenance and enhancement of soil productivity to support this demand is becoming an important issue at the global level.

Soil carbon, in particular, plays a crucial role not only in the maintenance of soil fertility but also as a global carbon sink. Soil carbon is a complex product resulting from various microbial processes, and it is fragile entity vulnerable to inappropriate human activity and global climate change. Soil microbes with efficient carbon use help reduce carbon losses and increase carbon storage. In this view, it is essential to understand dynamic nature of soil carbon and microbial processes in agricultural ecosystems.

To allow a deeper understanding of the dynamics of soil carbon and microbial processes affecting it, this Special Issue will focus on various aspects of carbon cycling and its related microbial processes in agricultural ecosystem – from the molecular level to regional or global scales. Topics of interest issue include the spatiotemporal dynamics of soil carbon, carbon balance, characteristics of soil organic carbon, carbon dynamics in plant–soil system, and various approaches to management for maintenance of soil carbon and for carbon sequestration.

Dr. Yinglong Chen
Prof. Dr. Masanori Saito
Dr. Etelvino Henrique Novotny
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • agriculture ecosystem
  • carbon cycling
  • carbon flow
  • carbon sequestration
  • carbon spatiotemporal dynamics
  • carbon use efficiency
  • green house gas
  • global warming
  • humus
  • rhizodeposition
  • rhizosphere
  • soil microbial respiration
  • soil degradation
  • soil management
  • soil biota

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Spectroscopic Investigation on the Effects of Biochar and Soluble Phosphorus on Grass Clipping Vermicomposting
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071011 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Seeking to evaluate the hypothesis that biochar optimises the composting and vermicomposting processes as well as their product quality, we carried out field and greenhouse experiments. Four grass clipping composting treatments (only grass, grass + single superphosphate (SSP), grass + biochar and grass [...] Read more.
Seeking to evaluate the hypothesis that biochar optimises the composting and vermicomposting processes as well as their product quality, we carried out field and greenhouse experiments. Four grass clipping composting treatments (only grass, grass + single superphosphate (SSP), grass + biochar and grass + SSP + biochar) were evaluated. At the end of the maturation period (150 days), the composts were submitted to vermicomposting (Eisenia fetida earthworm) for an additional 90 days. Ordinary fine charcoal was selected due to its low cost (a by-product of charcoal production) and great availability; this is important since the obtained product presents low commercial value. A greater maturity of the organic matter (humification) was observed in the vermicompost treatments compared with the compost-only treatments. The addition of phosphate significantly reduced the pH (from 6.7 to 4.8), doubled the electrical conductivity and inhibited biological activity, resulting in less than 2% of the number of earthworms found in the treatment without phosphate. The addition of soluble phosphate inhibited the humification process, resulting in a less-stable compound with the preservation of labile structures, primarily cellulose. The P species found corroborate these findings because the pyrophosphate conversion from SSP in the absence of biochar may explain the strong acidification and increased electric conductivity. Biochar appears to prevent this conversion, thus mitigating the deleterious effects of SSP and favouring the formation of organic P species from SSP (78.5% of P in organic form with biochar compared to only 12.8% in the treatments without biochar). In short, biochar decreases pyrophosphate formation from SSP, avoiding acidification and salinity; therefore, biochar improves the whole composting and vermicomposting process and product quality. Vermicompost with SSP and biochar should be tested as a soil conditioner on account of its greater proportion of stabilized C and organic P. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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Article
Trichoderma Bio-Fertilizer Decreased C Mineralization in Aggregates on the Southern North China Plain
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12071001 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 278
Abstract
Trichoderma bio-fertilizer is widely used to improve soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration, but the mechanism for increasing C accumulation remains unclear. In this study, effects of Trichoderma bio-fertilizer on the mineralization of aggregate-associated organic C were investigated in a field experiment with [...] Read more.
Trichoderma bio-fertilizer is widely used to improve soil fertility and carbon (C) sequestration, but the mechanism for increasing C accumulation remains unclear. In this study, effects of Trichoderma bio-fertilizer on the mineralization of aggregate-associated organic C were investigated in a field experiment with five treatments (bio-fertilizer substitute 0 (CF), 10% (BF10), 20% (BF20), 30% (BF30) and 50% (BF50) chemical fertilizer nitrogen (N)). Aggregate fractions collected by the dry sieving method were used to determine mineralization dynamics of aggregate-associated organic C. The microbial community across aggregate fractions was detected by the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method. The results indicated that Trichoderma bio-fertilizer increased organic C stock across aggregate fractions and bulk soil compared with CF. Cumulative mineralization of aggregate-associated organic C increased with the increasing bio-fertilizer application rate. However, the proportion of organic mineralized C was lower in the BF20 treatment except for <0.053 mm aggregate. Moreover, the PLFAs and fungal PLFA/bacterial PLFA first increased and then decreased with increasing bio-fertilizer application rates. Compared with CF, the increases of bacteria PLFA in >2 mm aggregate were 79.7%, 130.0%, 141.0% and 148.5% in BF10, BF20, BF30 and BF50, respectively. Similarly, the PLFAs in 0.25–2, 0.053–0.25 and <0.053 mm aggregates showed a similar trend to that in >2 mm aggregate. Bio-fertilizer increased the value of fungi PLFA/bacteria PLFA but decreased G+ PLFA/G− PLFA, and BF20 shared the greatest changes. Therefore, appropriate Trichoderma bio-fertilizer application was beneficial to improving soil micro-environment and minimizing risks of soil degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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Article
Carbon Storage Potential of Agroforestry System near Brick Kilns in Irrigated Agro-Ecosystem
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020295 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 550
Abstract
The current study was conducted to estimate the carbon (C) storage status of agroforestry systems, via a non-destructive strategy. A total of 75 plots (0.405 ha each) were selected by adopting a lottery method of random sampling for C stock estimations for soil, [...] Read more.
The current study was conducted to estimate the carbon (C) storage status of agroforestry systems, via a non-destructive strategy. A total of 75 plots (0.405 ha each) were selected by adopting a lottery method of random sampling for C stock estimations for soil, trees and crops in the Mandi-Bahauddin district, Punjab, Pakistan. Results revealed that the existing number of trees in selected farm plots varied from 25 to 30 trees/ha. Total mean tree carbon stock ranged from 9.97 to 133 Mg C ha−1, between 5–10 km away from the brick kilns in the study area. The decreasing order in terms of carbon storage potential of trees was Eucalyptus camaldulensis > Syzygium cumin > Popolus ciliata > Acacia nilotica > Ziziphus manritiana > Citrus sinensis > Azadirachtta Indica > Delbergia sisso > Bambusa vulgaris > Melia azadarach > Morus alba. Average soil carbon pools ranged from 10.3–12.5 Mg C ha−1 in the study area. Meanwhile, maximum C stock for wheat (2.08 × 106 Mg C) and rice (1.97 × 106 Mg C) was recorded in the cultivated area of Tehsil Mandi-Bahauddin. The entire ecosystem of the study area had an estimated woody vegetation carbon stock of 68.5 Mg C ha−1 and a soil carbon stock of 10.7 Mg C ha−1. These results highlight that climate-smart agriculture has great potential to lock up more carbon and help in the reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, and can be further used in planning policies for executing tree planting agendas on cultivated lands and for planning future carbon sequestration ventures in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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Article
Liming and Phosphate Application Influence Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization Differently in Response to Temperature Regimes in Allophanic Andosols
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020142 - 21 Jan 2022
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Andosols are characterized by high organic matter content and play a significant role in carbon storage. However, they have low phosphorus fertility because of the high phosphate-fixing capacity of active aluminum. For agricultural use of Andosols, it is necessary to ameliorate its poor [...] Read more.
Andosols are characterized by high organic matter content and play a significant role in carbon storage. However, they have low phosphorus fertility because of the high phosphate-fixing capacity of active aluminum. For agricultural use of Andosols, it is necessary to ameliorate its poor phosphorus fertility by applying lime and high doses of phosphate fertilizers. The objective of the present study was to clarify how such soil amendments affect the mineralization of soil organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in allophanic Andosols under different temperature regimes. The soil was treated using combinations of liming and heavy phosphate application, followed by incubation under different temperature conditions. The N mineralization and the soil CO2 evolution rate were measured periodically. The patterns of N mineralization were analyzed by fitting them to first-order kinetics. Liming increased C and N mineralization irrespective of temperature, and the increase was further enhanced by phosphate application. Kinetic analysis of the N mineralization curve indicated lowering of the activation energy of N mineralization reactions with phosphate application, suggesting that P application may accelerate N mineralization at lower temperatures. These findings provide a basis for developing soil management strategies to reduce the loss of soil organic matter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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Article
Source and Accumulation of Soil Carbon along Catena Toposequences over 12,000 Years in Three Semi-Natural Miscanthus sinensis Grasslands in Japan
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010088 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Miscanthus-dominated semi-natural grasslands in Japan appear to store considerable amounts of soil C. To estimate the long-term effect of Miscanthus vegetation on the accumulation of soil carbon by soil biota degradation in its native range, we measured total soil C from the [...] Read more.
Miscanthus-dominated semi-natural grasslands in Japan appear to store considerable amounts of soil C. To estimate the long-term effect of Miscanthus vegetation on the accumulation of soil carbon by soil biota degradation in its native range, we measured total soil C from the surface to a 1.2 m depth along a catena toposequence in three annually burned grasslands in Japan: Kawatabi, Soni, and Aso. Soil C stock was estimated using a radiocarbon age and depth model, resulting in a net soil C accumulation rate in the soil. C4-plant contribution to soil C accumulation was further estimated by δ13C of soil C. The range of total soil C varied among the sites (i.e., Kawatabi: 379–638 Mg, Soni: 249–484, and Aso: 372–408 Mg C ha−1). Catena position was a significant factor at Kawatabi and Soni, where the toe slope soil C accumulation exceeded that of the summit. The soil C accumulation rate of the whole horizon in the grasslands, derived C mainly from C4 plant species, was 0.05 ± 0.02 (Average ± SE), 0.04 ± 0.00, and 0.24 ± 0.04 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 in Kawatabi, Soni, and Aso, respectively. Potential exists for long-term sequestration of C under M. sinensis, but the difference in the C accumulation rate can be influenced by the catena position and the amount of vegetation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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Article
Cover Cropping Impacts Soil Microbial Communities and Functions in Mango Orchards
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11040343 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
Soil microbes play critical roles in nutrient cycling, net primary production, food safety, and climate change in terrestrial ecosystems, yet their responses to cover cropping in agroforestry ecosystems remain unknown. Here, we conducted a field experiment to assess how changes in cover cropping [...] Read more.
Soil microbes play critical roles in nutrient cycling, net primary production, food safety, and climate change in terrestrial ecosystems, yet their responses to cover cropping in agroforestry ecosystems remain unknown. Here, we conducted a field experiment to assess how changes in cover cropping with sown grass strips affect the fruit yields and quality, community composition, and diversity of soil microbial taxa in a mango orchard. The results showed that two-year cover cropping increased mango fruit yields and the contents of soluble solids. Cover cropping enhanced soil fungal diversity rather than soil bacterial diversity. Although cover cropping had no significant effects on soil bacterial diversity, it significantly influenced soil bacterial community compositions. These variations in the structures of soil fungal and bacterial communities were largely driven by soil nitrogen, which positively or negatively affected the relative abundance of both bacterial and fungal taxa. Cover cropping also altered fungal guilds, which enhanced the proportion of pathotrophic fungi and decreased saprotrophic fungi. The increase in fungal diversity and alterations in fungal guilds might be the main factors to consider for increasing mango fruit yields and quality. Our results indicate that cover cropping affects mango fruit yields and quality via alterations in soil fungal diversity, which bridges a critical gap in our understanding of the linkages between soil biodiversity and fruit quality in response to cover cropping in orchard ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon and Microbial Processes in Agriculture Ecosystem)
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