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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, December 2014, Vol.79, pp.57-67
    Description: The study of interactions between minerals, organic matter (OM) and microorganisms is essential for the understanding of soil functions such as OM turnover. Here, we present an interdisciplinary approach using artificial soils to study the establishment of the microbial community and the formation of macro-aggregates as a function of the mineral composition by using artificial soils. The defined composition of a model system enables to directly relate the development of microbial communities and soil structure to the presence of specific constituents. Five different artificial soil compositions were produced with two types of clay minerals (illite, montmorillonite), metal oxides (ferrihydrite, boehmite) and charcoal incubated with sterile manure and a microbial community derived from a natural soil. We used the artificial soils to analyse the response of these model soil systems to additional sterile manure supply (after 562 days). The artificial soils were subjected to a prolonged incubation period of more than two years (842 days) in order to take temporally dynamic processes into account. In our model systems with varying mineralogy, we expected a changing microbial community composition and an effect on macro-aggregation after OM addition, as the input of fresh substrate will re-activate the artificial soils. The abundance and structure of 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragments amplified from total community DNA were studied by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), respectively. The formation of macro-aggregates (〉2 mm), the total organic carbon (OC) and nitrogen (N) contents, the OC and N contents in particle size fractions and the CO respiration were determined. The second manure input resulted in higher CO respiration rates, 16S rRNA gene and ITS copy numbers, indicating a stronger response of the microbial community in the matured soil-like system. The type of clay minerals was identified as the most important factor determining the composition of the bacterial communities established. The additional OM and longer incubation time led to a re-formation of macro-aggregates which was significantly higher when montmorillonite was present. Thus, the type of clay mineral was decisive for both microbial community composition as well as macro-aggregation, whereas the addition of other components had a minor effect. Even though different bacterial communities were established depending on the artificial soil composition, the amount and quality of the OM did not show significant differences supporting the concept of functional redundancy.
    Keywords: Dgge ; Illite ; Montmorillonite ; Decomposition ; Respiration ; Soil Formation ; 16s Rrna Gene ; Its Fragment ; Agriculture ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0038-0717
    E-ISSN: 1879-3428
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2018, Vol.13(4), p.e0195345
    Description: Fungal communities in agricultural soils are assumed to be affected by soil and crop management. Our intention was to investigate the impact of different tillage and fertilization practices on fungal communities in a long-term crop rotation field trial established in 1992 in Central Germany....
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, February 2019, Vol.129, pp.17-28
    Description: The profound intensification of agricultural practices by increased application of agro-chemicals, short crop rotations and ploughing resulted in loss of soil fertility, erosion and accumulation of soil-borne plant pathogens. Soil microbial communities are key players in ecosystem processes and are intimately linked to crop productivity and health. Thus a better understanding of how farming practices affect soil microbiota is needed in order to promote sustainable agriculture. The long-term field trial in Bernburg (Germany) established in 1992 provides a unique opportunity to assess the effects of i) the crop (maize rapeseed) preceding the actual winter wheat culture, ii) tillage practice (mouldboard plough cultivator tillage) and iii) standard nitrogen (N)-fertilization intensity with application of growth regulators and fungicides (intensive) compared to reduced N-fertilization without growth regulators and fungicides (extensive). We hypothesized that these different farming practices affect the soil prokaryotic community structures with consequences for their functional potential. Total community-DNA was extracted directly from soils sampled at wheat harvest. Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified from total community-DNA revealed a significant effect of tillage practice and the preceding crop on prokaryotic community structures, whereas the influence of N-fertilization intensity was marginal. A number of differentially abundant prokaryotic genera and their predicted functions between mouldboard plough cultivator tillage as well as between different preceding crops were identified. Compared to extensive N-fertilization, intensive N-fertilization resulted in higher abundances of bacterial but not of archaeal genes, that are involved in ammonia oxidation. Our data suggest that long-term farming strategies differently shape the soil prokaryotic community structure and functions, which should be considered when evaluating agricultural management strategies regarding their sustainability, soil health and crop performance.
    Keywords: Bacterial Community Composition ; Tillage ; Fertilization ; Crop Rotation ; 16s Rrna Gene Amplicon Sequencing ; Soil Microbiome ; Agriculture ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0038-0717
    E-ISSN: 1879-3428
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Geoderma, 01 September 2018, Vol.325, pp.37-48
    Description: Organic particles including microorganisms are a significant fraction of the mobile organic matter (MOM) pool that contributes to initial pedogenesis. Still, the dynamics and the interplay of the multitude of processes that control the mobilization, transport, and retention of MOM are vastly unclear. We studied this interplay using an ‘artificial soil’ as model for a young, unstructured soil with defined initial composition employing a novel two-layer column experiment. The upstream layer was composed of a mixture of well-defined mineral phases, a sterile organic matter source and a diverse, natural microbial inoculant mimicking an organic-rich topsoil. The downstream layer, mimicking the subsoil, was composed of the mineral phases, only. Columns were run under water-unsaturated flow conditions with multiple flow interruptions to reflect natural flow regimes and to detect possible non-equilibrium processes. Pore system changes caused by flow were inspected by scanning electron microscopy and computed micro-tomography. MOM-related physicochemical effluent parameters and bacterial community diversity and abundance were assessed by molecular analysis of the effluent and the solid phase obtained after the long-term irrigation experiment (75 d). Tomographic data showed homogeneous packing of the fine-grained media (sandy loam). During flow, the initially single-grain structured artificial soil showed no connected macropores. In total, 6% of the initial top layer organic matter was mobile. The release and transport of particulate (1.2%) and dissolved organic matter (4.8%) including bacteria were controlled by non-equilibrium conditions. Bacterial cells were released and selectively transported to downstream layer resulting in a depth-dependent and selective establishment of bacterial communities in the previously sterile artificial soil. This study underlines the importance of bacterial transport from the surface or topsoil for colonization and maturation of downstream compartments. This initial colonization of pristine surfaces is the major step in forming biogeochemical interfaces - the prominent locations of intensive biological activity and element turnover that seem to play a major role for the functioning of soil.
    Keywords: Mobile Organic Matter ; Unsaturated Two-Layer Column Experiment ; Experimental Pedogenesis ; Artificial Soil ; Computed Micro-Tomography ; Molecular Analysis ; Agriculture
    ISSN: 0016-7061
    E-ISSN: 1872-6259
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, 2017, Vol.53(1), pp.9-22
    Description: Our understanding of the interactions between minerals, organic matter, and microorganisms at so-called biogeochemical interfaces in soil is still hampered by the inherent complexity of these systems. Artificial soil maturation experiments can help to bridge a gap in complexity between simple abiotic sorption experiments and larger-scale field experiments. By controlling other soil-forming factors, the effect of a particular variable can be identified in a simplified system. Here, we review the findings of a series of artificial soil incubation experiments with the aim of revealing general trends and conclusions. The artificial soils were designed to determine the effect of mineral composition and charcoal presence on the development of abiotic and biotic soil properties during maturation. In particular, the development of soil aggregates, organic matter (OM) composition and turnover, sorption properties, and the establishment of microbial community composition and function were considered. The main objectives of the research were to determine (1) how surface properties and sorption of chemicals modify biogeochemical interfaces; (2) how much time is required to form aggregates from mixtures of pure minerals, OM, and a microbial inoculum; and (3) how the presence of different mineral and charcoal surfaces affects aggregation, OM turnover, and the development of microbial community composition.
    Keywords: Experimental pedology ; Soil organic matter ; Soil microbial ecology ; Secondary phyllosilicates ; Biogeochemical interfaces ; Interdisciplinary soil science
    ISSN: 0178-2762
    E-ISSN: 1432-0789
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Phytoparasitica, 3/1998, Vol.26(1), pp.67-80
    Keywords: Life Sciences ; Plant Pathology ; Plant Sciences ; Ecology ; Agriculture ; Life Sciences, General ; Agriculture ; Ecology;
    ISSN: 0334-2123
    E-ISSN: 1876-7184
    Source: Springer (via CrossRef)
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Phytoparasitica, 1998, Vol.26(2), pp.182-182
    Keywords: Life Sciences ; Plant Pathology ; Plant Sciences ; Ecology ; Agriculture ; Life Sciences, General ; Agriculture ; Ecology;
    ISSN: 0334-2123
    E-ISSN: 1876-7184
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