Special Issue "Protection of Biodiversity of Agricultural Soils"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Anna Gałązka
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture Microbiology, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland
Interests: the evaluation of microbial diversity of soils associated with agricultural practice and environmental protection (research in molecular biology; evaluation of genetic differentiation and identification of microorganisms and characterization of metabolic profile of bacteria and fungi)
Dr. Agnieszka Wolińska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Biotechnology of Microorganisms Faculty of Science and Health, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Konstantynów 1 I Str., 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Interests: soil biodiversity; NGS; CLPP; soil biology; endophytes; microorganisms
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Vanessa Alvarez Lopez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Santiago de Compostela, Department of Vegetal Production, Higher polytechnic school of Engineering. Rúa Benigno Ledo, s/n. 27002 Lugo, Spain
Interests: soil fertilisation regimes (based on the re-use of urban residues) and soil uses in the soil physicochemical properties and soil microbial communities (at medium and long-term)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the recent decades, the world has seen a growing global energy deficit. The growing costs of agricultural production and the need to protect the environment create the necessity of using farming systems with reduced frequency and intensity of the treatments. Such tillage system should produce a low amount of carbon, thus being compatible with the assumptions of organic management systems, sustainable farming, and soil biodiversity protection. In modern agriculture, tillage has to meet many conditions to protect the soil and improve its parameters. First and foremost, it is important to reduce the losses of soil organic matter, to improve the soil structure. As a result of the use of intensive cultivation methods in many regions, soil fertility is characterized by, among other things, the reduction of biodiversity and the accumulation of harmful microorganisms and plant pathogens as well as pesticides and their derivatives in soils. It can be assumed that these phenomena will intensify as a result of dynamic climate changes, i.e., temperature increase and reduction of rainfall during the growing season. Therefore, in order to better deliver nutrients to plants and create the right conditions for their growth and development, it is important to maintain high activity and biodiversity of beneficial soil microorganisms in soil, and to introduce the rational biology of agriculture. The main aims of this Special Issue will be: 1. The evaluation of the biodiversity of agricultural soil as a foundation for environmental protection, improvement of plant yields and soil quality in the aspect of plant adaptation to climate change. 2. The optimization of processes leading to the protection of soil biodiversity in plant cultivation with particular emphasis on innovative solutions and biological yielding agents. 3. Intensification of activities leading to the formation of natural biological processes increasing environmental biodiversity, adaptation of microorganisms to climate change, plant and soil protection against the background of the concept of sustainable development of agriculture. Soil microorganisms are a highly diverse group of living organisms in terms of genomic and phenotypic characteristics. Biodiversity is a crucial step towards finding new microorganisms important features. Microorganisms play an important role in the ecosystem of the soil and participate, among other items, in maintaining soil structure, humification, release of organic compounds, disposal of pollutants but also in the processes of transformation of organic matter. The competent state of soil microorganism communities, which consist of appropriate amounts, activity, and diversity, is a necessary condition for functioning of a highly complex system such as soil. In this issue, special attention will be paid to the importance of the biodiversity of soil microorganisms and their contribution to the improvement of soil quality and fertility. The role of microorganisms in the creation of a proper soil structure, in the circulation of elements, humus formation, production of substances stimulating plant growth, detoxification and bioremediation of harmful compounds will be presented. Due to such large diversity, it is important to find the appropriate methods which would provide the highest degree of microbial diversification. Genetic techniques are the tools which allow the analysis of the genetic variability of microorganisms. This technique allows multiplying specific sequences, usually corresponding to the fragments of the sequence of genomic DNA. Hence, undoubtedly an important aspect of the research is the selection and development of indicators to evaluate biodiversity microorganisms of soil and plants. This issue is meant to increase knowledge about the protection of natural resources, which are soils used for agricultural purposes. Intensive farming conducted for many years has brought many negative effects on the quality of cultivated soils; therefore, it is necessary to undertake some activities to improve them and to intensify the protection of soil resources. This issue will present selected molecular methods used for the diversification of microorganisms in soil and other environments.

Prof. Dr. Anna Gałązka
Dr. Agnieszka Wolińska
Dr. Vanessa Alvarez Lopez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Soil biodiversity
  • agricultural soil
  • metagenomics
  • soil microorganisms
  • tillage systems
  • cultivation of plants

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Chemical Properties and Bacterial Community Reaction to Acidified Cattle Slurry Fertilization in Soil from Maize Cultivation
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030601 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Acidified slurry is a novel organic fertilizer that limits gaseous ammonia emissions and reduces nitrogen losses. Our research aimed to determine the effects of short-term fertilization with acidified slurry on the chemical properties and bacterial community of soil used for maize cultivation. In [...] Read more.
Acidified slurry is a novel organic fertilizer that limits gaseous ammonia emissions and reduces nitrogen losses. Our research aimed to determine the effects of short-term fertilization with acidified slurry on the chemical properties and bacterial community of soil used for maize cultivation. In the months after spreading, raw slurry fertilization had a significant impact on the increase in values of N-NO3. In contrast, soil fertilized with acidified slurry had lower N-NO3 values when compared to raw slurry fertilization treatments. Bacterial sequencing using Illumina MiSeq showed no differences in the genetic diversity of bacterial communities. In all tested soil samples, dominants at the phylum level were Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Acidobacteria, while dominants at the class level were Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Thermoleophilia, Gammaproteobacteria, and Acidimicrobiia. The values of biodiversity indices (Shannon index, Simpson index) in tested samples were similar. Our results suggest that short-term fertilization with acidified slurry does not adversely affect the biodiversity and structure of the bacterial communities and has a slight impact on soil chemical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Biodiversity of Agricultural Soils)
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Review

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Review
The Participation of Microbiota in the Transformation of Nitrogen Compounds in the Soil—A Review
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050977 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Due to the growing costs of agricultural production and the need to protect the environment, there has been a need to intensify activities leading to an increase in the effectiveness of natural biological processes. These measures should increase the biodiversity of the environment, [...] Read more.
Due to the growing costs of agricultural production and the need to protect the environment, there has been a need to intensify activities leading to an increase in the effectiveness of natural biological processes. These measures should increase the biodiversity of the environment, enable the adaptation of microorganisms and the protection of plants and soils against the background of the concept of sustainable agricultural development. The soil is an important environment in which many elements are transformed, including nitrogen necessary for the proper yielding of plants. The aim of the article is to present the microbiological aspect of nitrogen transformation, starting with a review of historical findings and then to discuss the progress of the latest developments that have contributed to a detailed understanding of the biochemical reactions occurring during nitrogen transformation in soil. Moreover, the aim of the study is to present the current state of knowledge on the dynamics of nitrogen uptake and conversion by various species of microorganisms and the relationship between the activity of nitrogen microorganisms and nitrogen uptake by plants. The article also includes the latest information on the possibility of using microbiological biostimulants supporting plant growth (PGPR) and protection against the effects of phytopathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Biodiversity of Agricultural Soils)
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Review
Environmental Factors Affecting the Mineralization of Crop Residues
Agronomy 2020, 10(12), 1951; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121951 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
The aim of this article is to present the issues related to the significance of microorganisms in the mineralization of crop residues and the influence of environmental factors on the rate of this process. Crop residues play a very important role in agriculture [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to present the issues related to the significance of microorganisms in the mineralization of crop residues and the influence of environmental factors on the rate of this process. Crop residues play a very important role in agriculture because they can be used both as an environment-friendly waste management strategy and as a means of improving soil organic matter. The inclusion of crop residues in the soil requires appropriate management strategies that support crop production and protect the quality of surface water and groundwater. Crops need nutrients for high yields; however, they can only absorb ionic forms of elements. At this point, the microorganisms that convert organically bound nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur into soluble NH4+, NO3, H2PO4, HPO42−, and SO42− ions are helpful. Mineralization is the transformation of organic compounds into inorganic ones, which is a biological process that depends on temperature, rainfall, soil properties, the chemical composition of crop residues, the structure and composition of microbial communities, and the C:N ratio in soil after the application of plant matter. An adjustment of the values of these factors enables us to determine the rate and direction of the mineralization of crop residues in soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Biodiversity of Agricultural Soils)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Invasiveness and morphometry of the wild entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev) isolated from selected agrocenoses

Joanna Matuska - Łyżwa1, Barbara Gworek2, Ilona Żeber-Dzikowska3, Jarosław Chmielewski4, Ewa Beata Górska5, Dariusz Gozdowski5, Lidia Sas-Paszt6, Wojciech Stępień5, Anna Lisek6, Beata Sumorok6

1Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, 7 Uniwersytecka Str., 25-406 Kielce, Poland

2 Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute, 5/11D Krucza Str., 00-548 Warsaw, Poland

3Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, 15 Świętokrzyska Str., 25-406 Kielce, Poland

4College of Rehabilitation, 46 Kasprzaka Str., 01-234 Warsaw,

5Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 166 Nowoursynowska Str., 02-787 Warsaw, Poland,

6Research Institute of Horticulture, 3 Maja 1/3 Str., 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland

 Corresponding author: [email protected]

 

Abstract: Steinernema feltiae is the most common species of entomopathogenic nematodes in Poland. The nematodes tested in this work were wild isolates, that were obtained from surface soil samples taken from selected agrocenoses. The research areas were located in the Koniecpol commune (Śląskie Voivodeship, Poland) and the Włoszczowa commune (Świętokrzyskie province, Poland). Features of the wild nematodes were comparing with nematodes isolated from Owinema bio-preparation (which contains larvae of the nematode Steinernema feltiae - selected ScP strain, Owiplant, Owińska). Nematodes were isolated by the "trap insects" method using Galleria mellonella caterpillars. The experiment was carried out at 20°C, and the applied dose of nematodes was 50 IJ per insect. Studies have shown that the invasiveness of wild entomopathogenic nematode isolates is variable. The isolate from Koniecpol showed lower insecticidal abilities than the isolate from Włoszczowa. It has been proved that the rate of development and extensiveness of the invasion of nematodes harvested from the Włoszczowa area are the same as those of nematodes derived from the biopreparation. The demonstrated insecticidal variability of wild nematode isolates correlates with the morphometric parameters tested, which differ significantly.

Keywords: entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema feltiae, invasiveness, morphometry

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