One-time strategic tillage does not cause major impacts on soil microbial properties in a no-till Calcisol

Liu, Hongwei, Carvalhais, Lilia C., Rincon-Florez, Vivian, Crawford, Mark, Dang, Yash P., Dennis, Paul G. and Schenk, Peer M. (2016) One-time strategic tillage does not cause major impacts on soil microbial properties in a no-till Calcisol. Soil and Tillage Research, 158 91-99. doi:10.1016/j.still.2015.12.007

Author Liu, Hongwei
Carvalhais, Lilia C.
Rincon-Florez, Vivian
Crawford, Mark
Dang, Yash P.
Dennis, Paul G.
Schenk, Peer M.
Title One-time strategic tillage does not cause major impacts on soil microbial properties in a no-till Calcisol
Journal name Soil and Tillage Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-1987
Publication date 2016-05-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.still.2015.12.007
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 158
Start page 91
End page 99
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1102 Agronomy and Crop Science
1111 Soil Science
1904 Earth-Surface Processes
Abstract Strategic tillage (or occasional tillage) has been touted as a potential solution for the severe weed infestations of long-term no-till (NT). Nevertheless, there is little information on the influence of strategic tillage on microbial properties of Australian NT soils. In the present study, we assessed the influence of strategic tillage on the microbial properties of a seven years’ NT Calcisol in Moonie, Queensland, Australia. We tested the hypothesis that the application of one-time strategic tillage with chisel or offset disc does not cause major impacts on soil biological health in a NT system. Strategic tillage was applied once and soil samples were collected 13 months after tillage from the depths 0–10 and 10–20 cm. The measured biological indicators included soil microbial biomass carbon, catabolic activity (MicroResp™ assay) and total microbial activity (fluorescein diacetate method). The structure of bacterial communities was profiled by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and terminal reaction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). Principal components analyses based on qPCR and T-RFLP data did not show tillage effects on soil bacterial communities. However, relative to the NT, chisel tillage led to significant increases in microbial biomass carbon (+34.4%), abundances of Alphaproteobacteria (+74.6%), Bacteroidetes (+113.7%) and Firmicutes (+36.5%), and the utilisation of D+ cellubiose (+178.4%) as well as mannitol (+167.2%) at 0–10 cm depth. In contrast, the influence of offset disc tillage was restricted to an increased abundance of Alphaproteobacteria (+64.6%) at 0–10 cm depth. Our study suggests that, overall, one-time strategic tillage using either chisel or offset disc had a minor positive influence on soil biological attributes of the NT Calcisol 13 months after tillage.
Keyword Bacterial genetic fingerprinting
Conservation agriculture
Northern Grains Region of Australia
Soil microbial activity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID ERM00003
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 28 December 2015

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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