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Effect of crop management and sample year on abundance of soil bacterial communities in organic and conventional cropping systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr caroline Orr, Dr Christopher StewartORCiD, Professor Carlo Leifert, Dr Julia Cooper


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AimsTo identify changes in the bacterial community, at the phylum level brought about by varied crop management.Methods and ResultsNext-generation sequencing methods were used to compare the taxonomic structure of the bacterial community within 24 agricultural soils managed with either organic or conventional methods, over a 3-year period. Relative abundance of the proportionately larger phyla (e.g. Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria) was primarily affected by sample year rather than crop management. Changes of abundance in these phyla were correlated with changes in pH, organic nitrogen and soil basal respiration. Crop management affected some of the less dominant phyla (Chloroflexi, Nitrospirae, Gemmatimonadetes) which also correlated with pH and organic N.ConclusionSoil diversity can vary with changing environmental variables and soil chemistry. If these factors remain constant, soil diversity can also remain constant even under changing land use.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe impact of crop management on environmental variables must be considered when interpreting bacterial diversity studies in agricultural soils. Impact of land use change should always be monitored across different sampling time points. Further studies at the functional group level are necessary to assess whether management-induced changes in bacterial community structure are of biological and agronomic relevance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Orr CH, Stewart CJ, Leifert C, Cooper JM, Cummings SP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Microbiology

Year: 2015

Volume: 119

Issue: 1

Pages: 208-214

Print publication date: 01/07/2015

Online publication date: 19/05/2015

Acceptance date: 20/03/2015

ISSN (print): 1364-5072

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2672

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/jam.12822


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