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Special Issue "Exploration of Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions and Soil Fertility Status from a Sustainable Agricultural Perspective"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2022 | Viewed by 1103

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Karolina Furtak
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Microbiology, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation - State Research Institute (IUNG-PIB), 24-100 Puławy, Poland
Interests: environmental microbiology; biological activity of soils; microbial biodiversity; functionality of the soil microbiome; effects of stress conditions on microbial communities; effects of different soil treatments on soil biological activity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Shrinking natural resources of the Earth, progressive and severe climate change, and the perspective of the necessity to feed another 2 billion people by 2050 with limited access to water and arable land are the most important challenges for contemporary agriculture. They already require decisive and effective solutions that will allow combining the effect of improving the productivity and quality of agricultural production with rational use of natural resources. Sustainable agriculture fully responds to these global challenges, offering a viable perspective on conventional management practices that are no longer viable.

Sustainable agriculture is any activity that reduces the impact of agriculture on the environment, enabling more efficient and environmentally friendly use of resources, e.g., soil, land, water, machinery, plant protection products, seeds, fertilizers or energy, while maintaining the profitability of agricultural production and its social acceptance.

Soil is a complex system, and the relationships between soil, plants and microorganisms are still being researched and not fully understood. Analysis of these relationships can enhance our understanding of the underlying processes that contribute to sustainable agricultural development.

This Special Issue focuses on bringing together current research results and a robust discussion on the impact of sustainable agriculture on the whole soil ecosystem. The papers collected in this issue should aim to 1) determine the impact of agricultural activities on the status and fertility of soils, which are the basis of agricultural ecosystems; 2) analyze the diversity and microbial activity of agricultural soils with a focus on the impact of agricultural practices on the microbiome; 3) analyze the impact of microorganisms on yield quality and quantity and the use of microorganisms as an opportunity to improve yield; and 4) determine the impact of agriculture on plant–soil–microbe interactions.

Dr. Karolina Furtak
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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.


  • sustainable agriculture
  • soil fertility
  • soil microorganisms
  • plant breeding
  • plant–soil–microbe interactions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Local Wisdom of West Timorese Farmers in Land Management
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6023; - 16 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 535
This paper’s working hypothesis is that the indigenous farming practices of Timorese farmers are those most suitable and adaptable with regard to these farmers’ circumstances. Intensive farming and the acceleration of land conversion in Java lead to a reduction in favorable cropland and [...] Read more.
This paper’s working hypothesis is that the indigenous farming practices of Timorese farmers are those most suitable and adaptable with regard to these farmers’ circumstances. Intensive farming and the acceleration of land conversion in Java lead to a reduction in favorable cropland and the degradation of soil biology. To meet the demand for food production, unfavorable areas outside Java, including marginal semi-arid areas on Timor Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, have become an important option. Unfortunately, the national crop production policy has paid less attention to the specific biophysical characteristics of the region and how local people have adapted to the diverse marginal environment. We review the literature in the areas of soil nutrition retention and soil biology, vegetation/crop diversity, and farming practices/management, including local wisdom on soil management. This paper highlights that the values of the chemical parameters of the soils in question are varied, but generally range from low to high. The existence of beneficial micro-organisms is important both for improving soil fertility and due to their association with local vegetation/crops. Traditional farming practices, such as the local agroforestry of Mamar, have effectively preserved the existence of micro-organisms that promote conservation practices, crop/vegetation diversity, and sustainable agriculture. We recommend that the expansion of croplands and crop production into marginal semi-arid areas needs to be considered and adapted while taking into consideration sustainability and environmentally sound traditional practices. Full article
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