Latest Research News on Soil Health: Dec – 2019

Soil health and sustainability: managing the biotic component of soil quality

Soil health is that the capacity of soil to function as an important living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and promote plant and animal health. Anthropogenic reductions in soil health, and of individual components of soil quality, are a pressing ecological concern. A conference entitled ‘Soil Health: Managing the Biological Component of Soil Quality’ was held was held within the USA in November 1998 to assist increase awareness of the importance and utility of soil organisms as indicators of soil quality and determinants of soil health. to guage sustainability of agricultural practices, assessment of soil health using various indicators of soil quality is required. Soil organism and biotic parameters (e.g. abundance, diversity, food cycle structure, or community stability) meet most of the five criteria for useful indicators of soil quality. [1]

DEFINING AND ASSESSING SOIL HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTIVITY

Increasing human populations, decreasing resources, social instability, and environmental degradation pose serious threats to the natural processes that sustain the worldwide ecosphere and life on earth. Agriculture, and society generally, are challenged to develop strategies for sustainability that conserve non-renewable natural resources like soil, enhance use of renewable resources, and are aligned with the natural processes that sustain life on earth. Soil may be a dynamic, living resource whose condition is significant to both the assembly of food and fiber and to global balance and ecosystem function; or in essence, to the sustainability of life on earth. the standard and health of soils determine agricultural sustainability, the standard of air and water environments and, as a consequence of both, plant, animal, and human health also. In its broadest sense, soil health are often defined because the ability of soil to perform or function consistent with its potential, and changes over time thanks to human use and management or to natural events. [2]

Soil health in agricultural systems

Soil health is presented as an integrative property that reflects the capacity of soil to reply to agricultural intervention, in order that it continues to support both the agricultural production and therefore the provision of other ecosystem services. the main challenge within sustainable soil management is to conserve ecosystem service delivery while optimizing agricultural yields. it’s proposed that soil health depends on the upkeep of 4 major functions: carbon transformations; nutrient cycles; soil structure maintenance; and therefore the regulation of pests and diseases. Each of those functions is manifested as an aggregate of a spread of biological processes provided by a diversity of interacting soil organisms under the influence of the abiotic soil environment. Analysis of current models of the soil community under the impact of agricultural interventions (particularly those entailing substitution of biological processes with fossil fuel-derived energy or inputs) confirms the highly integrative pattern of interactions within each of those functions and results in the conclusion that measurement of individual groups of organisms, processes or soil properties doesn’t suffice to point the state of the soil health. [3]

The potential of corn-soybean intercropping to improve the soil health status and biomass production in cool climate boreal ecosystems

Intercropping (IC) may be a promising approach wont to improve soil health and sustainable crop production. However, it’s unknown whether IC improve the soil health status and biomass productivity of crops cultivated in podzols under cool climate in boreal ecosystems. Two silage corn and three forage soybean genotypes were cultivated either as inter or monocrop (MC) treatments during a randomized complete block design. IC resulted in 28% increase in total forage production (FP). a discount in rhizosphere soil pH (RS-pH) was observed within the IC treatments. Conversely, the rhizosphere soil acid phosphatase (RS-APase) activity was significantly higher (26–46%) within the IC treatments and occurred concomitant with a big increase in available phosphorus (RS-Pavailable) (26–74%) within the rhizosphere. [4]

Impact of Repeated Applications of Chemical Fertilizers in Mulberry Cropping System on Soil Health, Leaf Production and Rearing Parameters of Silkworm, Bombyx mori L.

Aim: to seek out out the effect of continuous use of chemical fertilizers within the mulberry ecosystem.

Study Design: CRBD

Place and Duration of Study: Potential sericulture cluster in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, India, between January 2015 and December 2016.

Methodology: Standard methodologies wont to study the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil, foliar constituents of mulberry and rearing parameters of the silkworm. [5]

Reference

[1] Doran, J.W. and Zeiss, M.R., 2000. Soil health and sustainability: managing the biotic component of soil quality. Applied soil ecology, 15(1), (Web Link)

[2] Doran, J.W. and Safley, M., 1997. Defining and assessing soil health and sustainable productivity. Biological indicators of soil health. New York: CAB International. (Web Link)

[3] Kibblewhite, M.G., Ritz, K. and Swift, M.J., 2007. Soil health in agricultural systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1492), (Web Link)

[4] The potential of corn-soybean intercropping to improve the soil health status and biomass production in cool climate boreal ecosystems
Muhammad Zaeem, Muhammad Nadeem, Thu Huong Pham, Waqar Ashiq, Waqas Ali, Syed Shah Mohioudin Gilani, Sathya Elavarthi, Vanessa Kavanagh, Mumtaz Cheema, Lakshman Galagedara & Raymond Thomas
Scientific Reports volume 9, (Web Link)

[5] Arulmozhi Devi, S. and Sakthivel, N. (2018) “Impact of Repeated Applications of Chemical Fertilizers in Mulberry Cropping System on Soil Health, Leaf Production and Rearing Parameters of Silkworm, Bombyx mori L.”, International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 23(2), (Web Link)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *