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dc.contributor.authorStark, Christine H. E.en
dc.date.accessioned2007-06-14T02:29:08Z
dc.date.issued2005en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/30
dc.description.abstractTo date, there has been little research into the role of microbial community structure in the functioning of the soil ecosystem and on the links between microbial biomass size, microbial activity and key soil processes that drive nutrient availability. The maintenance of structural and functional diversity of the soil microbial community is essential to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production systems. Soils of the same type with similar fertility that had been under long-term organic and conventional crop management in Canterbury, New Zealand, were selected to investigate relationships between microbial community composition, function and potential environmental impacts. The effects of different fertilisation strategies on soil biology and nitrogen (N) dynamics were investigated under field (farm site comparison), semi-controlled (lysimeter study) and controlled (incubation experiments) conditions by determining soil microbial biomass carbon (C) and N, enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, arginine deaminase, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis), microbial community structure (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis following PCR amplification of 16S and 18S rDNA fragments using selected primer sets) and N dynamics (mineralisation and leaching). The farm site comparison revealed distinct differences between the soils in microbial community structure, microbial biomass C (conventional>organic) and arginine deaminase activity (organic>conventional). In the lysimeter study, the soils were subjected to the same crop rotation (barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), maize (Zea mais L.), rape (Brassica napus L. ssp. oleifera (Moench)) plus a lupin green manure (Lupinus angustifolius L.) and two fertiliser regimes (following common organic and conventional practice). Soil biological properties, microbial community structure and mineral N leaching losses were determined over 2½ years. Differences in mineral leaching losses were not significant between treatments (total organic management: 24.2 kg N ha⁻¹; conventional management: 28.6 kg N ha⁻¹). Crop rotation and plant type had a larger influence on the microbial biomass, activity and community structure than fertilisation. Initial differences between soils decreased over time for most biological soil properties, while they persisted for the enzyme activities (e.g. dehydrogenase activity: 4.0 and 2.9 µg g⁻¹ h⁻¹ for organic and conventional management history, respectively). A lack of consistent positive links between enzyme activities and microbial biomass size indicated that similarly sized and structured microbial communities can express varying rates of activity. In two successive incubation experiments, the soils were amended with different rates of a lupin green manure (4 or 8t dry matter ha⁻¹), and different forms of N at 100 kg ha⁻¹ (urea and lupin) and incubated for 3 months. Samples were taken periodically, and in addition to soil biological properties and community structure, gross N mineralisation was determined. The form of N had a strong effect on microbial soil properties. Organic amendment resulted in a 2 to 5-fold increase in microbial biomass and enzyme activities, while microbial community structure was influenced by the addition or lack of C or N substrate. Correlation analyses suggested treatment-related differences in nutrient availability, microbial structural diversity (species richness or evenness) and physiological properties of the microbial community. The findings of this thesis showed that using green manures and crop rotations improved soil biology in both production systems, that no relationships existed between microbial structure, enzyme activities and N mineralisation, and that enzyme activities and microbial community structure are more closely associated with inherent soil and environmental factors, which makes them less useful as early indicators of changes in soil quality.en
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.subjectmicrobial community structureen
dc.subjectsoil biologyen
dc.subjectsoil processesen
dc.subjectfunctionen
dc.subjectpast and current managementen
dc.subjectorganic and conventional farming practicesen
dc.subjectlupin (Lupinus angustifolius L.) green manureen
dc.subjectureaen
dc.subjectintact monolith lysimetersen
dc.subjectN dynamicsen
dc.titleEffects of long- and short-term crop management on soil biological properties and nitrogen dynamicsen
dc.typeThesis
thesis.degree.grantorLincoln Universityen_US
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.subject.marsdenFields of Research::300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences::300100 Soil and Water Sciences::300102 Soil biologyen_US
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitBio-Protection Research Centreen
pubs.organisational-group/LU
pubs.organisational-group/LU/BPRC
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office/QE18
pubs.publication-statusPublisheden
lu.identifier.orcid0000-0001-9282-4063


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