Microbial properties of soils as affected by cropping and nutrient management practices in several long-term manurial experiments in the semi-arid tropics of India uri icon

abstract

  • Microorganisms play a critical role in nutrient transformation, soil health and for sustaining the productivity of soils. Effects of long-term cropping, fertilization, manuring and their integration on microbial community were studied in soil samples from five long-termfertilizer experiments under various rainfed production systems in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) of India. Microbial population counts were analyzed by dilution plating and were in turn compared with different parameters such as soil treatments, soil type, soil microbial biomass C, soil organic C, rainfall and soil pH. The counts were high in treatments where combinations of organic and inorganic fertilizers were applied compared to control. Vertisolsshowed larger organic carbon levels than Alfisols. Fungal population was higher in acidic soils and in treatments under continuous inorganic fertilization treatments whereasa high number of bacteria were found in integrated use of organic and inorganic fertilizers. At most of the locations soil organic C and microbial biomass C showed significant positive ( p ? 0.05) correlation with microbial populations. Thus, results suggest that even under aridand semi-arid tropical conditions, regular addition of nutrients in an integrated manner could improve soil organic carbon and microbial population counts. For each production system, better carbon sequestration management practices were identified

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008