Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

  • Diego N. Chavarría CONICET-Instituto de Patología Vegetal (IPAVE-CIAP, INTA) Camino 60 cuadras, Km 5,5 C.P. 5119 Córdoba
  • Romina A. Verdenelli CONICET-Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (IMBIV – UNC); Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos (F.C.E.Fy Nat – UNC) C.P. 5016 Córdoba
  • Emiliano J. Muñoz INTA-Instituto de Patología Vegetal (IPAVE-CIAP) Camino 60 cuadras, Km 5,5 C.P. 5119 Córdoba
  • Cinthia Conforto INTA-Instituto de Patología Vegetal (IPAVE-CIAP) Camino 60 cuadras, Km 5,5 C.P. 5119 Córdoba
  • Silvina B. Restovich INTA-EEA Pergamino Av. Frondizi (Ruta 32) Km 4,5 C.P. 2700 Buenos Aires
  • Adrián E. Andriulo INTA-EEA Pergamino Av. Frondizi (Ruta 32) Km 4,5 C.P. 2700 Buenos Aires
  • José M. Meriles CONICET-Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (IMBIV – UNC); Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos (F.C.E.Fy Nat – UNC) C.P. 5016 Córdoba
  • Silvina Vargas-Gil CONICET-Instituto de Patología Vegetal (IPAVE-CIAP, INTA) Camino 60 cuadras, Km 5,5 C.P. 5119 Córdoba
Keywords: microorganisms, soil functionality, sustainability, diversification, enzymes

Abstract

Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC) as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation) during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) which were sown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1) and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2), with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Alef K, 1995. Soil respiration. In: Methods in applied soil microbiology and biochemistry; Alef K & Nanninpieri P (eds.). pp: 214-219. Academic Press. Harcourt Brace and Co. Publ., London UK.

Allegrini M, Zabaloy MC, Gómez EDV, 2015. Ecotoxicological assessment of soil microbial community tolerance to glyphosate. Sci Total Environ 533: 60-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.096

Allison S, Weintraub M, Gartner T, Waldrop M, 2011. Evolutionary economic principles as regulators of soil enzyme production and ecosystem function. In: Soil enzymology; Shukla G & Varma A (eds.). pp: 229-244. Springer, Berlin.

Balota E, Calegari A, Nakatani A, Coyne M, 2014. Benefits of winter cover crops and no-tillage for microbial parameters in a Brazilian Oxisol: A long-term study. Agric Ecosyst Environ 197: 31-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.07.010

Bastida F, Zsolnay A, Hernandez T, Garcia C, 2008. Past, present, and future of soil quality indices: a biological perspective. Geoderma 147: 59-171. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.08.007

Blanco-Canqui H, Mikha MM, Presley DR, Claassen MM, 2011. Addition of cover crops enhances no-till potential for improving soil physical properties. Soil Sci Soc Am J 75: 1471-1482. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2010.0430

Burke W, Gabriels D, Bouma J, 1986. Soil structure assessment. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam. 92 pp.

Buyer JS, Teasdale JR, Roberts DP, Zasada IA, Maul JE, 2010. Factors affecting soil microbial community structure in tomato cropping systems. Soil Biol Biochem 42: 831-841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.01.020

Campbell CD, Cameron C, Bastias B, Chen C, Cairney J, 2008. Long term repeated burning in a wet scleophyll forest reduces fungal and bacterial biomass and responses to carbon substrates. Soil Biol Biochem 40: 2246-2252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.04.020

Chu B, Zaid F, Eivazi F, 2016. Long-term effects of different cropping systems on selected enzyme activities. Commun Soil Sci Plan 47 (6): 720-730. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2016.1146749

Constantin J, Mary B, Laurent F, Aubrion G, Fontaine A, Kerveillant P, Beaudoin N, 2010. Effects of catch crops, no till and reduced nitrogen fertilization on nitrogen leaching and balance in three long-term experiments. Agric Ecosyst Environ 135: 268-278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2009.10.005

Dam RF, Mehdi BB, Burgess MSE, Madramootoo CA, Mehuys GR, Callum IR, 2005. Soil bulk density and crop yield under eleven consecutive years of corn with different tillage and residue practices in a sandy loam soil in central Canada. Soil Till Res 84 (1): 41-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2004.08.006

Deng Y, Jiang YH, Yang Y, He Z, Luo F, Zhou J, 2012. Molecular ecological network analyses. BMC Bioinformatics 13: 113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2105-13-113

Di Rienzo JA, Casanoves F, Balzarini MG, Gonzalez L, Tablada M, Robledo C, 2013. InfoStat versión 2013. Grupo InfoStat, FCA, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. http://www.infostat.com.ar.

Douglas JT, Goss MJ, 1982. Stability and organic matter of surface soil aggregates under different methods of cultivation and in grassland. Soil Till Res 2: 155-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0167-1987(82)90023-X

Dutta M, Sardar D, Pal R, Kole RK, 2010. Effect of chlorpyrifos on microbial biomass and activities in tropical clay loam soil. Environ Monit Assess 160: 385-391. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-008-0702-y

Elfstrand S, Hedlung K, Martensson A, 2007. Soil enzyme activities, microbial community composition and function after 47 years of continuous green manuring. Appl Soil Ecol 35: 610-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2006.09.011

Farage PK, Ardo J, Olsson L, Rienzi E, Ball A, Pretty J, 2007. The potential for soil carbon sequestration in three tropical dryland farming systems of Africa and Latin America: a modeling approach. Soil Till Res 94: 457-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2006.09.006

Fernandez R, Quiroga A, Noellemeyer E, 2010. Cover crops, a viable alternative to the pampean semiarid region? Cienc Suelo 30 (2): 137-150.

García C, Hernández MT, Costa F, 1997. Potential use of dehydrogenase activity as an index of microbial activity in degraded soils. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 28: 123-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103629709369777

Garland JL, Zabaloy MC, Birmele M, Mackowiak CL, Lehman RM, Frey SD, 2012. Examining N-limited soil microbial activity using community-level physiological profiling based on O 2 consumption. Soil Biol Biochem 47: 46-52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.12.016

Gillian A, Duncan H, 2001. Development of a sensitive and rapid method for the measurement of total microbial activity using fluorescein diacetate (FDA) in a range of soils. Soil Biol Biochem 33: 943-951. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(00)00244-3

Hall RA, Rebella CM, Ghersa CM, Culot JP, 1992. Field-crop systems of the pampas. In: Field crops ecosystems; Pearson CJ (ed.). pp: 413-450. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Hamido S, Kpomblekou K., 2009. Cover crop and tillage effects on soil enzyme activities following tomato. Soil Till Res 105: 269-274. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2009.09.007

Hargreaves S, Hofmockel K, 2014. Physiological shifts in the microbial community drive changes in enzyme activity in a perennial agroecosystem. Biogeochemistry 117: 67-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10533-013-9893-6

Higashi T, Yunghui M, Komatsuzaki M, Miura S, Hirata T, Araki H, Kaneko N, Ohta H, 2014. Tillage and cover crop species affect soil organic carbon in Andosol, Kanto, Japan. Soil Till Res 138: 64-72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2013.12.010

Huang G, Cao YF, Wang B, Li Y, 2015. Effects of nitrogen addition on soil microbes and their implications for soil C emission in the Gurbantunggut Desert, center of the Eurasian Continent. Sci Total Environ 515: 215-224. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.054

Kätterer T, Bolinder MA, Andrén O, Kirchmann H, Menichetti L, 2011. Roots contribute more to refractory soil organic matter than above-ground crop residues as revealed by a long-term field experiment. Agric Ecosyst Environ 141: 184-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.02.029

Kemper WD, 1965. Aggregate stability. In: Methods of soil analysis; Black CA (ed.). Part 1: Agronomy. Vol. 9, pp: 511-519. Am Soc Agron Inc., Madison, WI, USA.

Kintché K, Guibert H, Bonfoh B, Tittonell P, 2015. Long-term decline in soil fertility and responsiveness to fertiliser as mitigated by short fallow periods in sub-Sahelian area of Togo. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 101: 333-350. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10705-015-9681-x

Kumar R, Pandey S, Pandey A, 2006. Plant roots and carbon sequestration. Curr Sci 91: 885-890.

Lagomarsino A, Grego S, Kandeler E, 2012. Soil organic carbon distribution drives microbial activity and functional diversity in particle and aggregate-size fractions. Pedobiologia 55 (2): 101-110. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedobi.2011.12.002

López-Fando C, Pardo M, 2011. Soil carbon storage and stratification under different tillage systems in a semi-arid region. Soil Till Res 111: 224-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2010.10.011

Moharana PC, Sharma BM, Biswas DR, Dwivedi BS, Singh RV, 2012. Long-term effect of nutrient management on soil fertility and soil organic carbon pools under a 6-year-old pearl millet–wheat cropping system in an Inceptisol of subtropical India. Field Crops Res 136: 32-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2012.07.002

Nair A, Ngouajio M, 2012. Soil microbial biomass, functional microbial diversity, and nematode community structure as affected by cover crops and compost in an organic vegetable production system. Appl Soil Ecol 58: 45-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2012.03.008

Nascente AS, Li Y, Costa Crusciol C, 2013. Cover crops and no-till effects on physical fractions of soil organic matter. Soil Till Res 130: 52-57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2013.02.008

Nayak DR, Babu J, Adhya T, 2007. Long-term application of compost influences microbial biomass and enzyme activities in a tropical Aeric Endoaquept planted to rice under flooded condition. Soil Biol Biochem 39: 1897-1906. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.02.003

Nilsson MC, Wardle D, DeLuca T, 2008. Belowground and aboveground consequences of interactions between live plant species mixtures and dead organic substrate mixtures. Oikos 117: 439-449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.16265.x

Novelli L, Caviglia O, Melchiori R, 2011. Impact of soybean cropping frequency on soil carbon storage in Mollisols and Vertisols. Geoderma 167-168: 254-260. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.09.015

Page AL, 1982. Methods of soil analysis. Part 2: Chemical and microbiological properties. Am Soc Agron Inc., Madison, WI, USA. 1159 pp.

Pérez-Brandán C, Arzeno J, Huidobro J, Conforto C, Grümberg B, Hilton S, Bending G, Meriles J, Vargas-Gil S, 2014. The effect of crop sequences on soil microbial, chemical and physical indicators and its relationship with soybean sudden death syndrome (complex of Fusarium species). Span J Agric Res 12 (1): 252-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2014121-4654

Rao M A, Scelza R, Acevedo F, Diez MC, Gianfreda L, 2014. Enzymes as useful tools for environmental purposes. Chemosphere 107: 145-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.12.059

Reddy KN, Zablotowicz RM, Locke MA, Koger CH, 2003. Cover crop, tillage, and herbicide effects on weeds, soil properties, microbial populations, and soybean yield. Weed Sci 51 (6): 987-994. http://dx.doi.org/10.1614/P2002-169

Restovich SB, Andriulo A, Améndola C, 2011. Inclusion of cover crops in a soybean-corn rotation: effect on some soil properties. Cienc Suelo 29: 61-73.

Restovich SB, Andriulo A, Portela S, 2012. Introduction of cover crops in a maize–soybean rotation of the Humid Pampas: Effect on nitrogen and water dynamics. Field Crops Res 128: 62-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2011.12.012

Ruffo ML, Bullock D, Bollero G, 2004. Soybean yield as affected by biomass and nitrogen uptake of cereal rye in winter cover crop rotations. Agron J 96: 800-805. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2004.0800

Ruiz D, Montecchia M, Correa O, Pucheu N, Soria M, García A, 2008. Characterization of pristine and agricultural soils by catabolic profiling of microbial communities. Actas XLIV Annual Meeting-Argentine Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research. Carlos Paz, Córdoba, Argentina. p: 102.

Sapkota TB, Mazzoncini M, Bàrberi P, Antichi D, Silvestri N, 2012. Fifteen years of no till increase soil organic matter, microbial biomass and arthropod diversity in cover crop-based arable cropping systems. Agron Sust Dev 32: 853-863. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13593-011-0079-0

Shahzad T, Chenu C, Genet P, Barot S, Perveen N, Mougin C, Fontaine S, 2015. Contribution of exudates, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and litter depositions to the rhizosphere priming effect induced by grassland species. Soil Biol Biochem 80: 146-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.09.023

Sinclair T, Salado-Navarro L, Salas G, Purcell L, 2007. Soybean yields and soil water status in Argentina: simulation analysis. Agric Syst 94 (2): 471-477. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2006.11.016

Singer JW, Kohler KA, 2005. Rye cover crop management affects grain yield in a soybean-corn rotation. Crop Manage 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/CM-2005-0224-02-RS

Spohn M, Chodak M, 2015. Microbial respiration per unit biomass increases with carbon-to-nutrient ratios in forest soils. Soil Biol Biochem 81: 128-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.11.008

Steinweg JM, Dukes J, Wallenstein M, 2012. Modeling the effects of temperature and moisture on soil enzyme activity: Linking laboratory assays to continuous field data. Soil Biol Biochem 55: 85-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.06.015

Tian Y, Zhang X, Wang J, Gao L, 2013. Soil microbial communities associated with the rhizosphere of cucumber under different summer cover crops and residue management: A 4-year field experiment. Sci Hortic 150: 100-109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2012.10.025

Velmourougane K., Venugopalan MV, Bhattacharyya T, Sarkar D, Pal DK, Sahu A, Ray SK, Nair KM, Prasad J, Singh RS, 2013. Soil dehydrogenase activity in agro-ecological sub regions of black soil regions in India. Geoderma 197: 186-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.01.011

Xi X, Wang L, Tang Y, Fu X, Le Y, 2012. Response of soil microbial respiration of tidal wetlands in the Yangtze River Estuary to increasing temperature and sea level: A simulative study. Ecol Eng 49: 104-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.08.011

Zhao Y, Li J, Wang Z, Yan C, Wang S, Zhang J, 2012. Influence of the plant development on microbial diversity of vertical-flow constructed wetlands. Biochem Syst Ecol 44: 4-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2012.04.012

Published
2016-06-01
How to Cite
ChavarríaD. N., VerdenelliR. A., MuñozE. J., ConfortoC., RestovichS. B., AndriuloA. E., MerilesJ. M., & Vargas-GilS. (2016). Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 14(2), e0304. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2016142-8395
Section
Agricultural environment and ecology