Microbial properties and nitrogen contents of arable soils under different tillage regimes

Sun, B., Roberts, D. M., Dennis, P. G., Caul, S., Daniell, T. J., Hallett, P. D. and Hopkins, D. W. (2014) Microbial properties and nitrogen contents of arable soils under different tillage regimes. Soil Use and Management, 30 1: 152-159. doi:10.1111/sum.12089


Author Sun, B.
Roberts, D. M.
Dennis, P. G.
Caul, S.
Daniell, T. J.
Hallett, P. D.
Hopkins, D. W.
Title Microbial properties and nitrogen contents of arable soils under different tillage regimes
Journal name Soil Use and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0266-0032
1475-2743
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/sum.12089
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 1
Start page 152
End page 159
Total pages 8
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Attention is being paid to the use of different tillage regimes as a means of retaining soil organic carbon (SOC) and sequestering more SOC. Alongside earlier measurements of total SOC stocks under different tillage regimes, we have examined the distribution of nitrogen (N), microbial activity and the structure of the soil bacterial community from differently tilled plots under continuous barley. The plots were established 5 yr before sampling and have been maintained annually under conventional tillage (CT; moldboard ploughing to 20 cm and disking), deep ploughing (DP; ploughing to 40 cm and disking), minimum tillage (MT; disking to 7 cm) or zero tillage (ZT). Our earlier work showed there was no difference in SOC contents down to 60-cm depth between the treatments, but now we report that there were significant differences in the total N and active microbial biomass (substrateinduced respiration) contents of the same soils. The N contents of the CT, DP and MT treatments were not significantly different, but the ZT contained significantly more N, indicating either greater N retention under the ZT treatment or preferential loss from the more intensively tilled treatments, or a combination of both. The microbial biomass content was greater for the CT and DP treatments than for the MT and ZT treatments, indicating greater sensitivity to treatment effects of the microbial biomass pool than the total C pool, consistent with its more dynamic nature. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of the soil bacteria DNA (a method of assessing the bacterial community structure) enabled the samples to be distinguished both according to SOC content, which is to be expected, and to tillage regime with the greatest differences in community structure occurring in the ZT treatment and the least in DP and CT treatments, reflecting the degree of homogenization or disturbance resulting from tillage.
Keyword Bacterial diversity
Microbial biomass
Tillage
Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 14 october 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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